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Full text of "Canada and its provinces : a history of the Canadian people and their institutions Volume 14"

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Rk j 




Archives Edition 



(Vols. i and 2) 

NEW FRANCE, 1534-1760 

(Vols. 3 and 4) 

(Vol. 5) 


UNITED CANADA, 1840-1867 

(Vols. 6, 7, and 8) 


(Vols. 9 and 10) 




(Vols. ii and 12) 





(Vols. 13 and 14) 



(Vols. 15 and 16) 


(Vols. 17 and 18) 


(Vols. 19 and 20) 


(Vols. 21 and 22) 


(Vol. 23) 












VOL. 14 



Photogravure Annan. Glasgow. 










Yd. 14 











II. NEW BRUNSWICK .... . 480 

The Provincial Government The Provincial Revenue 


The Lieutenant-Governor The Executive Council The 
Legislature The Public Departments of Government The 
Judicial System and Courts The Provincial Revenue Muni 
cipal Institutions 



Educational Beginnings The Rise of the Colleges Uni 
versity Statistics, 1911 Other Independent Colleges and 
Schools The Public Schools and Government Institutions- 
Conspectus of Public School Statistics in Nova Scotia 
Conspectus of Education Statistics in Nova Scotia The 
Teachers Salaries of Teachers Devotional (Religious) 
Exercises Classification of Public School Pupils according 
to Sex and Grade, 1911 


G. U. HAY 







THE FISHING GROUNDS . . . . . .561 



EARLY DEVELOPMENTS . . . . . -565 

THE INSHORE FISHERY . . . . . -5^7 

THE DEEP-SEA FISHERY . . . . . .568 


THE COD FISHERY . . . . . . 570 








THE SHAD FISHERY . . . . . . .5/8 

THE SMELT FISHERY ....... 578 


THE SALMON FISHERY . . . . . .581 


THE OYSTER FISHERY . . . . . .585 

CLAMS ......... 588 

OTHER FISH ........ 588 

SEAL HUNTING ....... 589 


STEAM-TRAWLING . . . . . . -591 


I. NEW BRUNSWICK ....... 597 

Character of the Forests History and Progress of the Timber 
Trade Lumbering Operations Forest Conservation 



Conifers Hardwoods 




I. CLIMATE AND SOIL ....... 637 

Geographical Situation Topographical and Geological 
Features Geology of Nova Scotia Geology of New 
Brunswick Geology of Prince Edward Island 

Types of Farming 


History of Agriculture in Prince Edward Island Types of 
Farming Fruit-growing 


History of Agriculture in New Brunswick Types of Farming 
Crops Fruit-growing in New Brunswick 















From a photograph by Elliott and Fry , London 

OLD WHARVES AT HALIFAX .... Facing page 398 




From original etchings by Leo Hunter in the John Ross 
Robertson Collection, Toronto Public Library 


From a photograph 



From original paintings by John A. Fraser 












LUMBERING IN NEW BRUNSWICK . . . Facing page 614 






it 4 2 






SCOTIA ,,694 

HISTORY, 1867-1912 





"^ TOT Confederation itself, but the way it was brought 
^k about, say Nova Scotians, was our reason for 

-L il fighting Confederation. How real their objection, 
how strong their opposition, is manifest from what took place 
immediately after the dissolution of the assembly. On July I, 
1867, by the fiat of the imperial parliament, the union of four 
scattered colonies was consummated ; a new nation had 
come into being ; and new elective bodies must be chosen to 
carry cut the new constitution. Nova Scotia had ceased to 
be a quasi-independent state. Against the will of its people 
it had been forced into a new political combination, to which 
public feeling was actively hostile. On such a momentous 
question as a complete change of status the people directly 
affected should surely have been consulted ; the consent of 
the governed should have been obtained ; but in his brief 
span of power a strong-willed man carried this radical measure 
by the weight of his majority in the local parliament. Even 
if he be credited with broader patriotism, wiser statesmanship 
and deeper vision than his opponents, still, to overturn the 
whole constitution of a quasi-independent state and alter all 
its relations without a mandate from the people was dead in 
the teeth of every principle of free self-government. It pro 
vided one political party with a grievance that lasted for 
thirty years. 

Nothing could be more free from doubt or ambiguity than 
the pronouncement of Nova Scotia on the question as soon 
as she could make her voice heard. In the first Dominion 
elections the only Confederate returned was Dr Tupper him 
self. For the assembly only two Confederates were elected : 



of these one was immediately unseated and an anti-Confeder 
ate elected in his place. In the first Dominion parliament 
Howe headed a solid party of seventeen opposed to Con 
federation, while his friend Annand became premier of the 
local house of thirty-eight members with just one lonely 
Confederate for the entire opposition. 

In winning such a victory Howe had, of course, the prime 
part. His Letters to the People of Nova Scotia, which 
constitute his apologia, tell of his labours through that stren 
uous campaign. The battle with Tupper in the joint debate 
at Truro was the talk of the province. It was a war of giants. 
But Howe was not alone, and to attribute the liberal triumph 
solely to his eloquence and energy is a grave error. The con 
sistent opposition of W. Garvie, an able writer, in the Citizen 
must be reckoned with. Annand of the Chronicle was only 
one of a number of irreconcilables who never accepted the 
new order, and worked tooth and nail against it long after 
their efforts were plainly hopeless. The agitation and dis 
cussion in the newspapers from 1864 to 1867 convinced the 
people of Nova Scotia that the contemplated change was 
undesirable and had effected a complete cleavage between 
them and the majority in the assembly. It is also an error to 
attribute the result to mere faction and the wiles of the dema 
gogue. Subsequent events showed solid grounds for objection, 
and Nova Scotians are not the sort of people to be stampeded 
by an empty cry. 

Steps were at once taken to induce the British government 
to reconsider its action so far as to permit Nova Scotia to 
recover her ancient status and relation to the Empire. Howe, 
Annand and Hugh M c Donald formed another delegation to 
England. These men left no stone unturned to effect their 
purpose. But the great public was indifferent, the House of 
Lords could not be interested, and Bright s motion for mere 
inquiry in the Commons was defeated. Britain had her 
own difficulties. Her relations with the United States were 
strained. An American politician actually demanded the 
whole of British North America in settlement of the Alabama 
claims. To disrupt the newly formed Dominion as soon as 
it was formed looked like an act of folly. The delegates could 


not even obtain a hearing, and, sick at heart, they came back 
to the province. 

On the return of the disappointed men an anti-Confederate 
council of war was held in Halifax. It consisted of the 
members of the Dominion and of the local house. All sorts 
of wild schemes were suggested blocking the wheels of the 
constitution by wholesale resignation, armed resistance, even 
the intervention of the United States and annexation. Howe 
pointed out the hopelessness of fighting. There are the 
British bayonets, he said. But it was no mere flourish when 
he talked of dying with his boys on Tantramar marsh. As 
for calling the United States to aid, it was unthinkable to a 
patriot like Howe. He would none of it. Resignation in a 
body meant the loss of place and salary, and for such a sacri 
fice the office-holders were not prepared. This conference 
justified the proverb that a council of war never fights, and it 
broke up without any concerted plan of action. 


At the very same time Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir 
G. fi. Cartier came to Halifax to listen to complaints, to hear 
both sides, and, if possible, to placate the party of disruption. 
Howe had to write a chivalrous letter to the Chronicle bespeak 
ing a courteous reception for the Canadians. The party 
lodged at Government House and conferred with all who 
would do so. Irreconcilables like Annand refused to meet 
them at dinner. But Old To-morrow employed all his well- 
known powers of diplomacy and persuasion. With Howe, as 
the acknowledged leader of the an ti- Confederates, he discussed 
the whole question. He was willing to do anything in reason 
to win over his opponents, to conciliate local feeling and to 
preserve the Union. He succeeded in winning over Howe, 
who was already convinced of the futility of further opposi 
tion, and at a heavy price devoted himself to obtaining 
better terms. In a conference at Portland with Sir John 
Rose, the finance minister, the final details were arranged. 
On his return to Halifax the whisper ran round that Howe 
was a traitor, that he had been bought. In January 1869 


he was appointed president of the council in the Macdonald 
government. Sir John had invited him to assist in working 
out the plan of better terms, for he needed a man of Howe s 
ability to overcome the opposition of the other provinces to 
further money grants to Nova Scotia. The better terms 
meant a further subsidy of $80,000 for a period of ten years 
and the assumption of a million more of the provincial debt. 

It is difficult to see what else Howe could have done. 
Repeal was hopeless. The only course that remained open 
was to make the best of what he regarded as a bad bargain. 
Howe s action benefited Nova Scotia, but it cost him almost 
every friend he had left. After more than thirty years of 
comradeship Annand turned against him and filled the 
Chronicle with venomous attacks upon his old chief. The 
hatred of the anti-Confederates for their leader s defection 
was shown in his next political campaign. That same winter 
Howe had to contest Hants County with Monson Goudge, 
the president of the legislative council. It was the old lion s 
last fight and his hardest. The anti-Confederates put forth 
every effort to defeat him. He won, but he was never the 
same man again. The Hants election killed him. At a 
joint meeting in the schoolhouse at Nine Mile River his 
physical agony made it impossible for him to stand. He lay 
on the floor of the platform, wrapped in his cloak, while his 
adversary, nicknamed Roaring Billows/ stood over his 
prostrate form bellowing like a bull of Bashan. That 
night he took to his bed and did not stir out again for a 
month, but he could still command the support of loyal 
friends who carried the canvass through and won the seat 
for him. 

Howe s career was over. An old and broken man, he sat in 
the Macdonald cabinet as secretary of state for the Provinces 
for some three years, and then, in May 1873, the dying man 
was paid the compliment of being placed at the head of the 
province he loved so well and had served so loyally and long. 
He was sworn in as lieutenant-governor on May 10, but he 
enjoyed the honour less than a month. On June I he was 
dead. It was fitting that he should die in Government House, 
and it was characteristic that he should die on his feet. The 


night before his death he was in great pain and unable to 
sleep : he spent it in his study, sitting in his chair, or rest 
lessly pacing the floor. Towards dawn he was induced to go 
to his bedroom. As he neared the bed he staggered and fell 
into his son s arms. In ten minutes he was gone. 


Over his grave the parties made a truce. Even his 
bitterest foes paid tribute to his greatness. As the years go 
by the figure of Howe will detach itself more and more from 
the clouds of detraction and party enmity and reveal its 
towering height and massive strength, for the generations to 
come will learn to know him from the printed record of his 
own words, and they retain their vital heat. It is impossible 
to read Howe s state papers, his public letters, his speeches, 
and refuse him the epithet great. For breadth of view, for 
piercing insight, for firmness of grasp, for raciness and energy 
of style, they stand absolutely alone. Howe served his 
country well. He attacked and defeated single-handed the 
banded respectabilities of his time ; he gave his province a 
new constitution ; he fostered her material progress in every 
way ; he educated British statesmen in the principles of 
popular government ; he was the first of Canadian leaders to 
think imperially ; he lived in the constant close companion 
ship of great ideas ; he had strange power of speech to move 
the hearts of men as the wind sways the fields of wheat ; he 
embodied and intensified the strong local feeling that glorified 
the province of his birth. His story is fascinating, enigmatic, 
tragic. It offers the solitary case of hero-worship in Canadian 
history. Men remember his words, his characteristic gestures, 
his grey suit, his white hat, his jaunty walk, the way he would 
open and throw back his coat as he took the platform. The 
province is full of anecdotes about him. Even now, men take 
sides and dispute regarding his motives and his actions. 
Faults he had not a few. He was egotistic, he was careless 
about money, his debts mined his independence ; he was not 
the kind of politician that fattens on politics ; he could shock 
the prudes ; at the great crisis of his life he was weak, jealous, 


untrue to himself. But he had puissant and splendid excellences 
to put on the other scale : his courage was above proof, he 
was unselfish, he was chivalrous even in his hardest fights, 
he gave without reserve his whole marvellous strength to the 
public service ; he was a true patriot Nova Scotia s faulty, 
generous, great-hearted tribune of the plebs. His monument 
stands beside the Province Building which so often rang to his 
eloquence. The bronze effigy seems alive. It will be level 
with the dust before Nova Scotia can forget her favourite son. 


The aftermath of Confederation in Nova Scotia is now to 
be considered. The strife of parties was the fiercest, the 
question at issue was the most important, the leaders were 
the ablest and best matched, in all the provincial history. 
Men s strongest passions were aroused. The very children 
shared their fathers animosities and fought, Confederates and 
anti-Confederates. The intensity of the struggle is seen in 
the fact that less than twenty years later it was possible to 
raise once more the cry of Repeal and carry the country 
on it. To pretend that the battle of 1867 was the ordinary 
party sham-fight of the ins and the outs is to misread history 
and human nature. 

If Confederation was not an immediate and dazzling suc 
cess the student of history will not be surprised. It was a 
daring experiment. Howe s keen criticism of the Bothera 
tion Scheme read forty years later brings out a truth he did 
not intend the brilliant audacity of the men who tried to 
form a new nation out of such disparate elements as the four 
original provinces. More clearly than any one Howe points 
out the dangers and difficulties. Now Canadians forget that 
they existed. For a generation the Canadian union was in 
the experimental stage. It might succeed, or it might fail. 
Now that the experiment has succeeded, to the admiration of 
the world, no one remembers by what toil success was guaran 
teed and with what tremors its progress was watched. There 
was friction still between French Catholic Quebec and English 
Protestant Ontario. Nova Scotia came in with a deep sense 


of injury. Her autonomy had been roughly disregarded. 
Between the seaboard provinces and the inland centres of 
population there was a wilderness to be crossed, and between 
the English-speaking provinces stood the solid French wedge. 
A statesman might well have doubted if such an experiment 
in nation-building would come to aught. 

Once more in the history of Nova Scotia a completely new 
orientation was necessary. Now, instead of England with 
her stately past, the eyes of the province must be turned to 
Canada, which had only a future. Ottawa unknown, in the 
making, somew r here in the inaccessible interior, had nothing 
to compare with London s thousand years of vivid, varied, 
historic interest. London was much nearer to Halifax than 
Bytown was. There was a feeling, too, that Nova Scotia 
belonged to Canada, a country known only for rebellion, 
deadlocks and debt, and did not belong any more to Britain. 
The ancient, deep-rooted loyalty to the mother country pro 
tested against the sudden, forcible transfer of allegiance. 
The new national ideal was neither well defined nor specially 
attractive, and Nova Scotia was slow in responding to the 
appeal. To this day the Canadian tourist in Nova Scotia is 
astonished at being asked if he comes from Canada. The 
question is an unconscious indication of the old separatist 

At the same time, it must be remembered that the whole 
influence of the conservative party in the province has been 
given steadily and loyally to the support of the national idea. 
That party, however, has only held power for four years out 
of forty-five. 

Confederation did not make any province suddenly rich, 
and it was considered a failure in Nova Scotia for several 
post hoc, propter hoc reasons. Hard times set in. The 
Reciprocity Treaty with the United States expired, after it 
had been renewed through Howe s Detroit speech. At first 
it was rather resented in Nova Scotia, and its benefits to the 
province were slight. When the American Civil War broke 
out, however, the States offered an eager market for every 
bushel of provincial produce. Water carriage was cheap and 
easy ; the natural line of trade was open once more for the 


first time since 1775. Halifax, as ever, profited greatly by 
war. Before the blockade of the Confederate ports became 
effective, the Halifax merchants sent in cargoes of fish and 
lumber and brought back cotton. When the Federal cruisers 
shut the South from the sea, Halifax harbour was thick with 
blockade-runners, low-built, speedy, mouse-coloured iron 
steamers with collapsible funnels. They would load in Halifax 
and sail out boldly under the British flag to Nassau. All 
goods were paid for in gold. There were no accounts and no 
bad debts. If they succeeded in slipping past the Federal 
cruisers into Wilmington, they would buy cotton at sixpence 
a pound, contract price, which sold in England for three and 
sixpence. The captains, naval officers under assumed names, 
got a thousand pounds a trip, in and out, and the privilege 
of bringing out, on their own account, ten bales of highly 
compressed cotton. But the war came to an end, blockade- 
running ceased, war prices returned to normal, and, with the 
expiry of the Reciprocity Treaty in 1867, the trade of Nova 
Scotia with its natural market stopped abruptly. 

Another pinch was the ruin of a staple crop. About 1860 
the weevil came to Nova Scotia and attacked the wheat. It 
was impossible to stop the plague, and bread corn ceased to 
be cultivated. Some years ago an artist in Nova Scotia, 
wishing to paint mural decorations representing the four 
seasons, was hard pressed to find a wheat-field as his model 
in his autumn scene. On the rich intervale land of Pictou 
wheat had been grown for two generations, often with a yield 
of forty bushels to the acre. That phase of farming passed 
away definitely. The loss to the farmers and millers may be 
readily understood. 

Another reason for the unpopularity of Confederation in 
Nova Scotia was the decay of wooden shipbuilding. That 
indecisive fight in Hampton Roads between the Merrimac 
and the Monitor decided one thing warships and merchant 
ships should henceforth be of iron. Now the tramp steamer 
has driven sails from the sea. Nova Scotia had a huge capital 
invested in ships, and owners were slow to realize the revolu 
tion that had come about in the carrying trade. Only the 
irresistible logic of dwindling profits and dead losses forced 


them out of the business. The marked decay set in about 
1874, and in thirty years Nova Scotia s chief industry was 
dead. This was the heaviest blow ever dealt to provincial 
prosperity. It speaks volumes for the recuperative power of 
the province that it is recovering from such a blow. 

One direct effect of Confederation that distinctly injured 
the business of the capital was the building of the Inter 
colonial Railway. This was really a violent attempt to over 
come nature and geography by establishing a new trade route. 
As a maritime province the trade of Nova Scotia had been 
from the first water-borne to England, to the West Indies 
and to the nearest American colonies. Now the nation- 
builders of Canada, confident of her future and greatly daring, 
ran an iron road through a wilderness and linked Halifax with 
Quebec. This ready means of communication had an unfore 
seen effect upon the trade of the province. The wholesale 
merchants of Toronto and Montreal sent their travellers in 
and secured a large part of the trade that had so long been 
the monopoly of the wholesale merchants of Halifax. It was 
a reversal of the ancient order of things. In the good old days 
the retail merchant came from the country to the city. He 
approached the wholesale magnate humbly, and after a glass 
of wine in the office and a chat on general topics, he would 
request permission to see the goods he might order. To go 
after business, to drum it up, to employ ambassadors of com 
merce to visit the country merchants and solicit orders for 
goods was a most unheard-of, undignified proceeding, and the 
indignation of the old-fashioned Halifax merchants at * those 
Canadians poaching on their preserves was extreme. Halifax 
lost her pre-eminence, but the country towns profited. They 
began to import for themselves, and so became independent of 
the capital. 

All these things came together after Confederation, and 
for them, illogically enough, Confederation was held to blame. 
There were other changes, inevitable but none the less to be 
regretted, which arose from the changed status of the province. 
The battle over Confederation is the fiery climax of Nova 
Scotia s one hundred and ten years of independent political 
life and of her unrelaxing efforts to govern herself. The final 


struggle left the province exhausted. Death claimed Johnston 
and Howe. Tupper found scope for his ambition in the wider 
field of Dominion politics. These men left no successors to 
their strength or their policies. The provincial arena was 
so shrunken, the interests involved were so narrow, that in 
evitably the men of outstanding ability were drained off into 
national politics. Tupper, Fielding, Thompson, Borden are 
examples of the strong drag towards the centre. The general 
assembly, with its ancient and worthy tradition of great 
principles and great debating, can never be what it once 
was. Henceforward its activity must be limited to the 
bounds of a county council, labouring over the honest 
disposal of the provincial revenue, and meticulous details 
of expenditure for roads and bridges, for education and 
public charities. 

And with the glamour of the Province Building has passed 
the glory of Government House. It is in thorough accord 
with every democratic theory and tendency that the office 
of lieutenant-governor should be filled by the native-born. 
But in practice it is difficult to find the combination of quali 
ties that are desirable in the official head of the province. 
Little remains to the modern lieutenant-governor but to main 
tain the dignity of his province on public occasions and to act 
as a social centre. The constitution leaves him very narrow 
range of action. The choice in candidates is limited. When 
the lieutenant-governors were really intended to govern, men 
of distinction were selected for the office. The old order was 
doomed, but the lover of the picturesque may be permitted a 
sigh for the days of Wentworth and Sherbrooke, Dalhousie 
and Kempt. 


One of the last and not the least distinguished royal 
governors was a native of Nova Scotia. Sir William Fenwick 
Williams was born at Annapolis Royal in 1800. He entered 
Woolwich in 1815 just as the long peace began. The Crimean 
War found him a middle-aged officer of the Royal Artillery, 
who had spent fourteen years in assisting the organization of 


the Turkish army. His opportunity came late in life, like 
Havelock s, when he was shut up in Kars, a city on the eastern 
border between Turkey and Russia, by a greatly superior 
Russian army under Mouravieff. By sheer skill, courage and 
sagacity he held the Russians at bay for six terrible months. 
In one desperate battle outside the city walls his Turks ac 
counted for six thousand of the enemy, killed and wounded. 
Cholera and starvation decimated the garrison ; the soldiers 
shared their scanty rations with the famishing townspeople. 
At last, when word came that the relieving force could not 
reach him, Williams thought of surrender. He stipulated for 
the honours of war ; otherwise he would burst every gun, 
destroy every standard and trophy, and allow Mouravieff to 
wreak his will on the garrison. The chivalrous Russian 
accorded the most honourable terms. The defence of Kars 
was the most brilliant episode of the Crimean War, the 
admiration of all professional soldiers. England showered 
distinctions on the hero a baronetcy, a pension of a thou 
sand pounds a year for life, the freedom of the city of 
London, a sword of honour, and the degree that Oxford 
reserves for men of mark. His native province also voted 
him a sword of honour, the last time that knightly compli 
ment was paid. He was appointed lieutenant-governor in 
1865 and valued the honour highly. His portrait hangs in 
the council-chamber of the Province Building to remind 
coming generations what Nova Scotians have achieved. 


Another notable son of the province to be named for this 
office after Howe s death was Johnston. He was travelling 
for his health in the south of France at the time of his appoint 
ment, but he died before he could reach home and is buried in 
Cheltenham. It was only fitting that both these ancient 
rivals should be paid the high compliment of being placed at 
the head of the province they had done so much to distinguish. 
Such memories cling to the time-stained walls of Government 

After the Heroes, the Epigoni ! A smaller race of pro- 


vincial politicians succeeded. Annand died still unreconciled, 
and was followed by the government of P. C. Hill, which was 
turned out by the one conservative administration that has 
governed the province in forty-five years. The leader was 
Simon Holmes, a native of Pictou County, editor of the 
Colonial Standard. He had for second-in-command a young 
Catholic lawyer, John Sparrow Thompson, whose father had 
been Queen s Printer. He was destined to become prime 
minister of Canada and to find death in Windsor Castle. The 
Holmes-Thompson government was noted for its careful, 
economical use of the provincial revenue, by which it was 
able to reduce the outstanding debt and to increase the effi 
ciency of the school system by enlarged grants. Owing to 
ill-health Holmes was obliged to retire from politics in 1882, 
and Thompson was soon after raised to the bench. This 
solitary instance of the conservative party obtaining power 
since Confederation is a remarkable political fact. Majorities 
in Canada are strangely permanent. The Canadian people 
are not lightly given to change ; but four years out of forty- 
five is entirely disproportionate. There is the fact, interpret 
it who may. 

To the Holmes-Thompson government succeeded that of 
W. T. Pipes and W. S. Fielding, who entered political life 
almost by accident as a compromise candidate by way of the 
Chronicle office. As provincial secretary Fielding reigned 
without intermission from 1884 until the liberal victory of 
1896, when he became minister of Finance in the Laurier 
government. His long term of office is noteworthy for two 
measures, which diversify the monotonous record of parish 

On May 10, 1886, just before the provincial elections, 
W. S. Fielding, from his place as provincial secretary, moved 
a remarkable series of resolutions, which form a sort of epi 
logue to the struggle of 1867. These contrasted the state of 
the province before and after Confederation. Before, the 
Province of Nova Scotia was in a most healthy financial con 
dition. Nova Scotia, previous to the Union, had the 
lowest tariff and was, notwithstanding, in the best financial 
condition of any of the Provinces entering the Union. 


Now, * the commercial as well as the financial condition 
of Nova Scotia is in an unsatisfactory and depressed 

The resolutions assigned the reasons for the unsatis 
factory and depressed condition. By the terms of the Union 
the chief sources of revenue were transferred to the federal 
government. Further, they pointed out that the promises 
contained in Sir John Macdonald s letter to Howe, dated 
October 6, 1868, had never been fulfilled. They also asserted 
roundly and without any qualification that the objections 
which were urged against the terms of Union at first apply 
with still greater force now than in the first year of the 
Union. Taken all together, they form a severe arraignment 
of Confederation, and justify every criticism Howe made of 
the pact. After giving the new idea a trial of nineteen years, 
those in charge of the provincial affairs declared deliberately, 
in their official capacity, as representatives of the people, 
that the experiment had failed so far as Nova Scotia was 

The remedy proposed was the old object of the Charlotte- 
town conference Maritime union, the peaceful detachment 
of the three Atlantic provinces from the Dominion ; in other 
words, a reversion to the old boundaries of Acadie, prior to 
1784. If Maritime union is not possible, the government of 
Nova Scotia deems it absolutely necessary* to ask permis 
sion from the Imperial Parliament to withdraw from the 
Union with Canada and return to the status of a Province of 
Great Britain, with full control over all fiscal laws and tariff 
regulations within the Province, such as prevailed previous 
to Confederation. 

The final resolution runs : That this House thus declares 
its opinion and belief, in order that candidates for the suffrages 
of the people at the approaching elections may be enabled to 
place this vital and important question of separation from 
Canada before them for decision at the polls. The English 
might easily be improved by the pen of Howe, but the inten 
tion is unmistakable. After debate the repeal resolutions 
were carried by a vote of fifteen to seven. 

Outside the house the resolutions were bitterly assailed. 


The liberals were accused of insincerity, of sectionalism, of 
making merely a party move. Elsewhere in Canada the cry 
of Repeal aroused something like consternation. In Ontario 
the new national idea was so completely accepted that the 
outspoken protest from the Atlantic was regarded as a piece 
of incomprehensible ingratitude. That any province could 
possibly object to its role in Confederation was a novel and 
unwelcome idea to the generation of Canadians growing to 
manhood since 1867 and knowing nothing but one country 
stretching from the centre to the sea. And yet Nova Scotia 
was declared in unmistakable official terms to be discontented. 

The decision of the people at the polls in regard to the 
* vital and important question was free from any doubt. 
Fielding was returned to power with a large majority. Nova 
Scotia had given him what he asked, a mandate to take his 
province out of the Union, and his natural course would have 
been to petition the British government and head delegations 
to England as Howe did in 1866 and 1868. It is quite con 
ceivable that Nova Scotia, a quasi-island with its own tariff, 
might flourish as does Newfoundland in its old status as a 
colony. Its natural resources are very much greater, and its 
power is much more evenly diffused. It is also conceivable 
that, however pained and grieved by the defection, the rest 
of Canada would never think of opposing separation by force, 
though it would pay handsomely to preserve the Dominion 
ring-fence intact. But Fielding did nothing. Two of his 
party, W. T. Pipes and T. R. Black, frankly refused to contest 
their seats on the separation cry. Pipes retired from politics 
altogether, and Black was returned at the head of the poll. 
On his return to office, in 1887, Fielding passed other resolu 
tions alleging further action impossible in view of the fact 
that in the Dominion elections, held at the same time, a 
majority of conservatives had been elected. Nothing was 
done further to obtain repeal, but the agitation had one 
material result. Once more Nova Scotia obtained an increase 
to the subsidy from the Dominion. His political opponents 
held that Fielding had stultified himself. 

Those repeal resolutions remain on record for the instruc 
tion of students of Canadian history-, and for the warning 


of Canadian statesmen. They testify to Howe s foresight. 
What he predicted came to pass. The modern vulgar rever 
ence for the merely big, megalomania, and the vulgar admira 
tion of mere wealth have led the larger states of Canada to 
look on the smaller, poorer states with something akin to 
contempt. Such phrases as the shreds and patches of 
Confederation and Ontario the milch-cow of the Dominion 
are straws that show the direction of a steady wind of political 
opinion. The popular conception of Nova Scotia approaching 
Ottawa for an increased subsidy is a mendicant holding out 
his hand for alms. The true conception is of a partner in a 
going joint concern demanding his lawful share of profits. 
As Andrew Macphail truly says : The Fathers of Confedera 
tion never intended that the Dominion should be rich and the 
provinces poor. No matter which party has held the purse- 
strings at Ottawa, the Dominion government has never erred 
on the side of liberality to the member of the Confederacy 
that sacrificed most for the ideal of national unity. 


A striking physical feature of Nova Scotia is its mineral 
wealth. Within its borders almost every species of ore is 
found gold, iron and coal but the chief of these is coal, the 
indispensable basis for the age of steam. Coal is found in 
many parts of the province in Cumberland, in Pictou, and, 
above all, in Cape Breton. In Cape Breton some four hundred 
square miles of desolate country are underlain by seam below 
seam of rich bituminous coal. The exploitation of this vast 
wealth began in a feeble way as early as the seventeenth 
century. Denys mentioned the coal of Cape Breton in his 
Description and Natural History of Acadia of 1672, and five 
years later was authorized by the French government to 
collect a tax of twenty sous per ton on all coal exported from 
the island. The ships at first were loaded from the cliffs. 
When the French began to fortify Louisbourg in 1720, the first 
attempt at mining was made on the north side of the island, 
to meet the needs of the workmen engaged. The first mining 
after the English occupation dates from 1766, when four 



Halifax merchants Gerrish, Lloyd, Armstrong and Bard 
for the sum of 400 paid to the government were granted the 
privilege of mining three thousand chaldrons, on condition of 
their sending half the quantity to Halifax and not charging 
more than twenty-six shillings per chaldron. These enter 
prising men began mining at Spanish River, now Sydney. 
Very little was done to follow up the work. In 1826 the total 
average annual yield of all Cape Breton was only 7500 tons. 
In 1872 it was 383,000 tons ; in the same year Pictou produced 
5000 tons more. This was a considerable advance in forty- 
six years, but still it was only scratching the surface of these 
enormous deposits. Small companies, feebly capitalized, 
with antiquated machinery, were competing with one another, 
and far from prosperous. This was the situation of coal 
mining in Nova Scotia up to the year 1 893. 

By very ancient English law all minerals are deemed to be 
the personal possession of the crown, and this law was em 
bodied in the constitution of Nova Scotia. That is the reason 
that Gerrish and his partners had to pay so handsomely for 
the privilege of digging the Spanish River coals, now the 
favourite Old Sydney. George iv took the law literally 
and transferred the coal-mines of Nova Scotia to his brother 
the Duke of York to pay his debts. The duke in turn made 
them over to the once well-known London firm of jewellers, 
Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. For some time they worked 
the mines and held Nova Scotia in tribute. It is one of 
Johnston s great public services that he recovered, by his 
legal knowledge and diplomacy, Nova Scotia s rights to her 
own coal-mines. The coal areas were never sold outright, 
but were leased for a term of thirty years, and the lessees 
paid the government a royalty of seven and a half cents 
for every ton raised, and the proviso of this ancient law 
had far-reaching results. 

About the year 1889 it occurred to B. F. Pearson, a lawyer 
of Halifax, that this situation might be improved. Pearson 
came from Colchester, and he had already promoted consider 
able local enterprises. His project was to combine and work 
the coal-mines of Cape Breton on an entirely modern business 
plan. It was a large conception. He was able to interest 


H. M. Whitney, a prominent capitalist of Boston, and, 
working with him, bought out nine Cape Breton collieries. 
The result was the formation of the Dominion Coal Company. 
In the necessary legislation passed at a special session in 
January 1893 important modifications were made in the old 
law : the term of the lease was increased from thirty to 
ninety-nine years, and the royalty from seven and a half to 
twelve and a half cents per ton. This increase brought in 
1912 the total amount of coal royalties up to $800,000. 
Thanks to this law and the enterprise that consolidated the 
coal industry, the province is sure of a yearly revenue, which 
must steadily grow. 

Another important result was the formation of a sister 
industry, the Dominion Iron and Steel Company, in order to 
find a steady customer for the huge quantities of coal that 
would be raised by improved modern methods and manage 
ment. Again H. M. Whitney supplied the money and floated 
the company. Sydney, des Barres old capital, was selected 
as the site of the huge complex of buildings, wharves and 
roads necessary for the production of steel on an enormous 
scale. Millions were spent in the necessary first outlay, and 
a great deal of it was wasted. As soon as the furnaces began 
to produce the first billets, Dominion Steel stock rose on the 
market. Every one bought ; the value of the stock steadily 
mounted ; and then came a drop, and hundreds of Nova 
Scotians lost heavily. The truth is that the company was 
used for the purpose of speculation and was nearly brought 
to ruin. Strikes and an expensive lawsuit hampered its 
development, and American enterprise nearly wrecked it. 
Under Canadian management it is gradually coming back 
to a sound financial basis. 

Another great concern with an entirely different origin 
and history is the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company of 
New Glasgow. In 1872 it began in a small way as the Hope 
Iron Works, with a capital of four thousand dollars. In 
thirty years it had grown to a corporation with a capitaliza 
tion of fourteen millions and six thousand persons on its pay 
rolls. In Cape Breton it acquired from the General Mining 
Association fourteen square miles of coal areas at the mouth 


of Sydney Harbour. It draws its ore from Bell Island, New 
foundland, which consists almost entirely of red hematite, 
part of which it sold to the Dominion Steel Company for a 
million dollars. This native company has made haste slowly, 
but its progress has been sure. No one can examine these 
two industries, or survey even what strikes the eye, with 
out being convinced that the future of Nova Scotia is 
industrial. Great as are her fisheries, her forests and her 
orchards, their yield is even now insignificant compared 
with the actual output of coal and steel. Around the 
plants at Sydney and New Glasgow ancillary and deriva 
tive manufactories are springing up. It seems impossible 
that they shall not grow and add immensely to the wealth of 
the province. 

In 1896 W. S. Fielding was one of the provincial premiers 
called to form the Laurier cabinet. He resigned his office as 
provincial secretary and stood for the constituency of Shel- 
burne and Queens. He was elected and became minister of 
Finance. His first budget speech, in 1897, made him famous 
for the significant clause according a preference to English 
manufactures coming into Canada. This measure was re 
garded in England as a sign of the growing feeling of unity 
among the scattered members of the Empire, and it had a 
result probably unique in the history of budget speeches 
it produced a poem, much misunderstood by Canadian 
journalists, Our Lady of the Snows. Fielding s successor 
in the assembly was a young lawyer from North Sydney, 
named George Murray. He has remained in control ever 
since, with hardly sufficient opposition, until recently, to 
ensure competent criticism of government measures. The 
Murray administration has been noted for its honesty and 
economy. It has also the honour of extending a broad 
scheme of industrial education which must greatly increase 
the efficiency of the working classes. 


One line of Kipling s glowing and prophetic characteriza 
tion of Canada ran, 1,1 am first in the battle, and this event 


was soon to prove true. Two years later the Boer War 
broke out, and in October 1899 Canada sent her first force of 
a thousand men to the war. Nova Scotia did her part and 
soon recruited the number of men required to fill a company, 
which was designated l H in the second battalion of the 
Royal Canadian Regiment. The captain chosen was a young 
graduate of Dalhousie, H. B. Stairs, a lawyer and an officer 
in a local volunteer regiment. He belonged to a Halifax 
family that had been firmly established in the city for more 
than a century. His grandfather, a fine type of the old- 
fashioned merchant, was the lifelong friend of Howe and the 
first opponent of Confederation. His cousin, John F. Stairs, 
represented the city in the Dominion House for years. His 
brother, Captain W. G. Stairs, was Stanley s right-hand man 
in the Emm Pasha expedition. 

Canadians did not expect very much of the First Con 
tingent, as it was commonly called. They would be put on 
garrison duty, it was supposed, in order to set the regular 
British regiments free for the front. The First Contingent 
themselves entertained other views. They were jealous of 
their honour and they would have hotly resented any differ 
ence in treatment from that meted out to the most famous 
battalion in the whole Army List. There was no difference 
in their treatment. They were rushed to the front, they were 
worked hard, they made forced marches on quarter-rations, 
and, to their joy, they found that they were depended on. 
They were tested under fire over and over again, and they 
stood the test like veterans. Their great opportunity came 
in the night attack on Cronje s camp at Paardeberg. 

A long-strung-out line of Canadians moved forward silently 
from their trenches in the darkness of February 27, 1900, to 
assail a position of unknown strength ; Shropshires and 
Gordons were in support. The Canadians were at right 
angles to the river, and H company was at the very right of 
the line and next to the stream. Their orders were to advance 
until fired on and then to entrench. They did so. After 
some firing an unknown person shouted in an authoritative 
tone : * Retire, and bring back your wounded. The whole 
battalion fell back for some distance, with the exception of 


H company and part of G company which was next to it. 
The fusillade continued until dawn revealed the situation. 
When Brigadier Smith-Dorrien crawled into the donga which 
the two Canadian companies and some Royal Engineers who 
accompanied them had improved into a rude trench, he 
found it was parallel to the T trench at the end of Cronje s 
long main trench following the bank of the Modder. From 
their position, sixty measured paces from the T trench, H 
company was able to enfilade the main trench, and for two 
hours they took their revenge for what they had suffered in 
the night. Then the white flag was raised over Cronje s camp 
and the bugles sounded Cease firing. 

For his steadfastness Captain Stairs was mentioned in 
dispatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order, and 
on the old Lower Parade of Halifax, north of the Province 
Building, stands a monument to the dead of H company. 
It is a bronze soldier, in the uniform and equipment of the 
First Contingent, signalling with his rifle the approach of the 
enemy. The soldier balances the figure of Howe on the other 
side, who once said : A wise nation preserves its records, 
gathers up its muniments, decorates the tombs of its illustrious 
dead, repairs its great public structures and fosters national 
pride and love of country by perpetual references to the 
sacrifices and glories of the past. 

The history of that territorial division of North America 
known as Acadie or Nova Scotia according to the European 
nation that owned it covers three eventful centuries. At 
first the haunt of the romantic explorer, seeking riches, trading 
in furs, striving to transplant the feudal system to the New 
World, the province was bandied to and fro for a century 
between the soldiers and diplomats of two great European 
powers. At last one held tenaciously to what she had gained 
by the sword, and gradually broke and drove her rival from 
the field. Then, from the opening of the eighteenth century, 
the population began to expand naturally and to take pos 
session of the soil. English occupation ensured an outline 
sketch of free government, which was later more clearly 
defined and completely filled in. Colonized effectively by 


r* ... 



From original etchings by Leo Hunter in the John Ross Robertson Collection, 

Toronto Public Library 


two immigrations from the sister American colonies, Nova 
Scotia developed a strong individual life and marked local 
patriotism. At the same time the double pressure of war and 
exile strengthened the feeling of loyalty and affection to the 
motherland. In many ways and in many places that senti 
ment has shown itself, from the bloody deck of the Shannon 
to the snow-bound trenches of Sebastopol and the bullet- 
swept plains of Paardeberg. At one time of stress the province 
was split in two, a fission that the logic of time has proved 
to have been a political blunder. Although the ancient 
paternal system of government lasted far into the nineteenth 
century, the long familiarity of a law-abiding people with 
constitutional methods enabled a native leader of genius to 
work out by peaceful means the problem of a modern, demo 
cratic, self-governing state. Geographical conditions pro 
duced the industries of lumbering, fishing and seafaring ; and 
these industries have reacted on the character of the people. 
When the time came for merging the province in a larger 
national unity, the great change was attended by friction, 
which all must regret ; but the strife of that time has become 
merely a picturesque memory. In the new orientation there 
was loss and there was gain, but no one would now think 
seriously of returning to the old status. World-wide economic 
changes injured the province severely. One great industry, 
shipbuilding, was wiped out altogether by the discovery that 
an iron ship was better than a wooden ship and that steam 
was better than sails. But Nova Scotia has shown extra 
ordinary recuperative power. The steel plants at Sydney 
and New Glasgow point out the way of future industrial 
progress. To the life of the new nation Canada, Nova Scotia 
brought her valuable contribution of a strong, well-defined 
individuality. The influence of politicians from the province 
in the central parliament has been out of all proportion to its 
mere size and population. Three have been premiers, while 
a fourth, the same leader who advocated taking his province 
out of the Union, had the honour of giving the mother country 
preferential treatment in her commerce with Canada. Time 
was needed for Nova Scotia to adjust herself to new political 
conditions, but that adjustment is now complete. Adjust- 


ment to new industrial conditions will follow. At the open 
ing of the twentieth century Nova Scotia, while mindful of 
her distinguished and honourable past, looks forward to the 
part she is to play in the future of Canada with confidence 
and hope. 

A^ci. *^a<^ ^^L^. 

v./ ^ 

HISTORY, 1867-1912 

HISTORY, 1867-1912 


ArLANCE at the conditions existing in New Brunswick 
on the eve of Confederation will serve as an intro 
duction to the period we are here to consider. 
It was not until 1855 that a full measure of responsible 
government, as we now understand it, prevailed in the pro 
vince. This was somewhat later than was the case in the sister 
provinces, but there was ample compensation in the fact that 
in New Brunswick the struggle over this burning question 
was attended by little of the turmoil that prevailed in other 
parts of Canada. 

The agitation for responsible government did not begin in 
good earnest until 1840. From that time it was continued 
under the leadership of Lemuel Allan Wilmot, Charles Fisher, 
William J. Ritchie and their associates until 1854, when the 
reins of power were wrested from the grasp of the Family 
Compact, which had retained control for seventy years. 
Under the new system the members of the executive govern 
ment no longer held office during pleasure or good behaviour, 
but only so long as they retained the confidence of a majority 
of the representatives of the people in the house of assembly, 
the criterion of their fitness for office being their perform 
ances as advisers of the lieutenant-governor and originators 
of sound measures for the betterment of the country. Many 
of the men who were destined to play an important part in 
the promotion of Confederation were trained for leadership 
in the struggle for responsible government. 

The decade that preceded Confederation was one in which 
New Brunswick made rapid progress in wealth and population. 
Immigration reached its largest proportions in the forties and 
then began to decline, but new settlements continued to spring 



up in various parts of the province. Irish navvies came to work 
upon the railways that were in course of construction, and 
many of them became settlers. More than seventy per cent 
of the total immigration to New Brunswick came from Ireland. 

To stimulate the settlement of the waste places the govern 
ment passed a Labour Act, under which settlers were to 
pay for the lands on which they settled by labour on the 
roads in and near their settlements. Most of the settlements 
from 1850 to 1872 whether of immigrants or natives of the 
province were made under the provisions of the Labour 
Act. A large number of the settlements were on the upper 
St John in the counties of Victoria and Carleton. Several 
tracts were laid out for companies of settlers organized upon 
a religious basis. An association of Scottish Presbyterians, 
under the leadership of the Rev. Charles Gordon Glass, settled 
Glassville ; a Baptist association, led by the Rev. Charles 
Knowles, settled Knowlesville ; and a Roman Catholic 
association, of which the Right Rev. John Sweeney, Bishop 
of St John, was patron, settled Johnville. All these settle 
ments are in the county of Carleton. 1 This fine county 
is a highly developed farming region, sometimes termed the 
Garden of New Brunswick. 

In recent years the men born in the province have con 
tinued to establish new settlements and to consolidate and 
expand those already existing. In this way the valley of the 
Tobique and many other places in the province have been 
occupied by an almost purely native population, as fine a 
body of people as any part of the Dominion can boast of. 

Another very important native expansion is that of the 
Acadians. In Madawaska the first settlements on the banks 
of the St John have been extended to the back lands. In 
Westmorland the Acadians have greatly extended their early 
settlements, especially in the vicinity of Cape Pelee. In Kent 
County they have filled up the back lands and made new 

1 Most of the early settlements in Carleton County have become towns and 
villages, and the word settlement in many instances has been altered to ville. 
In addition to Glassville, Knowlesville and Johnville, mentioned above, we find 
in this county : Chapman ville, Gordon ville, Jacksonville, Bell ville, Somerville, 
Speerville, Grenville, Florenceville, Centreville, Waterville, Lakeville, Ferryville, 


settlements along the coast. They have formed large com 
munities at Rogersville and other places in the county of 
Northumberland. In the county of Gloucester, which is 
almost entirely French, their expansion has been even more 
remarkable, for in the census of 1911 this county stands 
third in the number of its inhabitants, whereas at the time 
of Confederation it stood ninth. In some parts of Eastern 
and Northern New Brunswick the Acadians are gradually 
superseding the English-speaking people, occupying the un- 
granted lots in the English settlements and taking up the 
farms cf those who remove to the Canadian West. This 
process is going on extensively in the counties of Gloucester, 
Kent, Restigouche and Madawaska. 

In 1872 the provincial government, under the influence of 
the lessening immigration and the increasing exodus, passed 
a Free Grants Act whereby lands were offered free of cost to 
companies of actual settlers. Under this act some sixty 
settlements have been established. With the exception of 
the Danish and Scottish colonies in Victoria County, these new 
settlements have been effected almost entirely by native-born 
people. This was not the intention of the promoters of the 
Free Grants Act, which was passed with the view of inducing 
a large number of immigrants from the United Kingdom to 
settle in New Brunswick. Unfortunately for the success of 
the experiment, the lure of Western Canada has prevailed, 
not only with the English immigrant, but with the home-born. 
Experience has shown that those best fitted for pioneer work 
in a forest country are the native-born men who can wield 
an axe and understand the conditions of life that exist. The 
provincial government is now wisely attempting to place well- 
to-do British immigrants on cultivated farms. 

The ungranted crown lands are administered by the pro 
vincial Crown Lands department. They comprise about seven 
million acres, or one-quarter of the entire area of the province. 
The crown lands are chiefly in the central and northern parts 
of New Brunswick. They are now being explored and exam 
ined with the view of selecting suitable tracts for settlement. 
The policy of concentrating settlers on good farming lands at 
different points instead of permitting them to locate indis- 


criminately is having a beneficial effect. It enables the settlers 
to assist one another and minimizes the danger from forest fires. 
The railway from Campbellton to St Leonards, completed 
in 1910, has opened for settlement some of the very best 
farming land in the province. The National Transcontinental 
Railway from Moncton to the Quebec border also passes 
through a tract of country suitable for farming, and much of 
it is unsettled. 


At the period when Confederation became an issue the 
government of New Brunswick was engrossed in railway con 
struction. It is claimed that this comparatively small pro 
vince has more miles of railway in proportion to its population 
than any other country in the world. It certainly was early 
in the field. Ten years after the first railway was in operation 
in England there was an agitation for the construction of a 
railway in New Brunswick. The agitation had its birth at a 
meeting held in St Andrews, on October 5, 1835, to discuss the 
construction of a railway to Quebec. 1 The road was surveyed 
in 1836 by Captain Yule of the Royal Engineers, who estimated 
the cost at 10,000,000 sterling. This evidently frightened 
the promoters, and nothing further was done until 1850. In 
that year a great international railway convention was held 
in Portland, Maine. The oratorical honours of the convention 
were carried off by a son of New Brunswick, the Hon. L. A. 
Wilmot, who in an eloquent and memorable address referred 
to his native province as a country hardly known beyond its 
borders, but whose people would not rest until they had by 
railway construction brought themselves into connection with 
the outside world. As the outcome of its early ambition New 
Brunswick has to-day two thousand miles of railway. 

After many vicissitudes the St Andrews and Quebec Rail 
way was pushed as far north as Canterbury sixty-four miles 
in 1858, and to its temporary terminus at Richmond 
twenty- three miles farther in 1862. Connection was made 
with St Stephen in 1 866 and with Woodstock in 1868. 

Appeals had meanwhile been made to the mother country 

1 See National Highways Overland in section v. 


for assistance in the construction of a railway, through New 
Brunswick, from Halifax to Quebec. Captain Pipon and 
Lieutenant Henderson of the Royal Engineers were appointed 
by William Ewart Gladstone, secretary of state for the 
Colonies, to survey the route, but the home government was 
not prepared to give any definite assurance of assistance. A 
correspondence ensued and it became voluminous in the 
course of years but the project remained in abeyance until 
the time of Confederation. 

New Brunswick devoted its energies to building a railway 
from St John to Shediac on the Straits of Northumberland. 
The turning of the first sod of the railway on September 14, 
1853, by Lady Head, was an event long remembered in the 
province. Railways and Confederation were even at this 
early period inseparably associated in the minds of thinking 
people. The address presented to Sir Edmund W. Head, 
lieutenant-governor of the province, by the directors of the 
railway company contained the following passage : Our 
sister colonies and ourselves, though under the same flag 
and enjoying the same free institutions, are comparatively 
strangers to each other, our interests disunited, our feelings 
estranged, our objects divided. From this work, from this 
time, a more intimate union, a more lasting intercourse must 
arise and the British Provinces become a powerful and united 
portion of the British Empire. His Excellency in his reply 
cordially endorsed this sentiment, and expressed the hope that 
the people of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and 
Prince Edward Island would speedily realize that their in 
terests were identical and be inspired with a unity of purpose 
and of action such as had not yet existed. He added : If 
these sentiments prevail, I have no fear for the future greatness 
of British North America. The triumphal procession through 
the streets of St John on this occasion was a remarkable 
demonstration for a comparatively small community. In it 
there marched ten hundred and ninety shipwrights, repre 
senting seventeen shipyards. At least a dozen other trades 
were splendidly represented. Firemen, millmen, patriotic 
societies, public officials, bands, etc., helped to form a pro 
cession two miles in length which occupied a full hour in 


passing a given point. The presence of more than a thousand 
stalwart shipwrights, representatives of seventeen shipyards, 
was a feature which it would be impossible to reproduce in a 
trades procession in Canada to-day. 

The new railway was called the European and North 
American Railway. Its construction was part of a plan to 
connect the great cities of the United States with an eastern 
port in the Atlantic provinces in order to shorten the voyage 
to Europe. The steamships of those days made slow passages 
in comparison with the modern greyhounds of the Atlantic. 
The European and North American Railway was not finished 
until i860. Later it was continued from St John westward, 
connecting with Fredericton and M c Adam in 1869. On 
October 19, 1871, the * last spike, making connection with 
the United States railway system, was driven at Vanceboro. 
The event was deemed of international importance and the 
ceremony was honoured by the attendance of General Grant, 
who was then president of the United States, and Hannibal 
Hamlin, the vice-president. The short line to Montreal was 
not opened for traffic by the Canadian Pacific Railway 
Company until 1889. 

During the years that preceded Confederation the prin 
cipal policy of the government of New Brunswick was always 
a railway policy, and it was largely the desire for the speedy 
construction of an intercolonial railway that led the Atlantic 
provinces to consider the question of federal union. Mean 
while the railroad promoter was abroad in the land. At 
every session of the legislature charters were applied for and 
were granted. Some of the roads were built, but fortunately 
for the finances of the province a good many projects did not 
materialize. At one time the government sought relief from 
its tormentors by the introduction of a bill providing $10,000 
a mile for the construction of seven different lines of railway. 
As the proposed lines extended to all parts of the province 
few members of the house dared to oppose the bill. The act 
was facetiously called the Lobster Act/ The railways pro 
posed penetrated every county save three, and, as a conse 
quence, the legislature found itself in the grasp of the claws 
of the lobster. Several of the railways were built under the 


provisions of this act and others have since been constructed 
under less liberal subsidy acts. 

In 1 86 1 delegates from Canada, New Brunswick and Nova 
Scotia went to England to press upon the imperial authorities 
the importance of aiding in the construction of an intercolonial 
railway. While they were in England news of the Trent 
affair reached that country. Messrs Mason and Slidell, two 
representatives of the Southern Confederacy, were forcibly 
taken from on board the British mail-steamer Trent by the 
captain of a United States warship. This incident seemed 
likely to lead to war between Great Britain and the United 
States, and there was intense excitement both in England and 
America. British soldiers were sent in haste to Canada. 
Winter was at hand and most of the troops had to proceed 
through New Brunswick overland to Quebec. The winter 
was cold and stormy, rendering their progress somewhat 
arduous and difficult. The troops were among the best in 
the British army Grenadier Guards, Scots Fusiliers, London 
Rifles, Royal Artillery and Transport Corps. They were 
warmly clad and were forwarded to their destination in com 
fortable sleds provided by the farmers of the country. Every 
village and town along the route thrilled with excitement as 
day after day the bugle notes were heard on the frosty air 
announcing the approach of a procession of from fifty to one 
hundred sleds, filled with soldiers of the imperial army. They 
made the journey with little discomfort, many of them wear 
ing sheepskin coats and fur caps. 1 The difficulty and delay 

1 One or two transport ships were able to land at Rimouski, on the lower St 
Lawrence, but the greater number of the troops were sent to Quebec by way of 
the St John River. The following corps proceeded from St John via Frederic- 
ton to Riviere du Loup, en route to Quebec, between January 9 and March 15 : 
ist Battalion Rifle Brigade . Officers 44 Men 862 Total 906 
ist Battalion Grenadier Guards ,, 48 1163 , 1211 

2nd Battalion Scots Fusiliers . 30 ,, 912 

Royal Artillery ... 32 ,, 1016 

63rd Regiment of Foot . . ,, 29 ,, 727 

62nd Regiment (detachment) . o ,,119 

Military Train . . . ,, 29 567 

Army Hospital Corps . ,, o 41 







Grand Total . . 212 5407 5619 

In addition to the above, about 1250 officers and men of the 62nd Regiment and 


attending such a mode of transportation served as an object- 
lesson to British statesmen on both sides of the Atlantic, and 
led the home government to consider more seriously the con 
struction of an intercolonial railway for military reasons. 
But there was to be further delay. Canada hesitated to 
embark on so costly an undertaking, and the English govern 
ment continued to temporize in the matter. 


The Atlantic provinces now began to consider the idea of 
a Maritime union, and their proceedings were watched with 
interest by the statesmen of Canada. It seemed but natural 
that colonies of similar origin, owning the same allegiance 
and with many interests in common, should dream of political 

A leading New Brunswick historian makes the statement 
that the British government was to be blamed for doing little 
or nothing to promote the union of the colonies until com 
pelled to move in the matter by the logic of events. But it is 
questionable whether Great Britain would have been wise in 
bringing any pressure to bear upon the colonies. Anything 
in the nature of compulsion would have been resented. In 
Nova Scotia the people were committed to the details of the 
scheme by their own leaders before the question had been 
submitted to popular approval. The dissatisfaction and 
turmoil that followed there are a very good indication of 
what might have occurred everywhere if the mother country 
had attempted to force Confederation as an issue in British 
America. The fact, however, remains that the colonial 
office did not at the outset display much enthusiasm over 
the proposed union. 

In New Brunswick the people were not of one mind as to 
the desirability of Confederation. In every community there 

of the Royal Artillery were landed at St Andrews with some Armstrong guns, 
ammunition and stores. These were sent to Woodstock by the railway and 
thence in sleds to Quebec. The troops were fortunate in escaping the intense 
rigour of February 8 of the previous winter, a day of unparalleled severity, still 
spoken of in New Brunswick as The Cold Friday, but they encountered cold 
weather and snow-storms. 


are persons who see in any new movement a host of difficulties. 
It is their nature to cling to old systems and to look for 
precedents for any step of a political character, forgetting 
that precedents must be created some time or another, and 
that the century in which they live has as good a right to 
create a precedent as any of its predecessors. We need not, 
however, doubt the honesty or loyalty of those who were the 
anti-Confederates, or consider that they were opposed to 
British connection or to the building up of the Empire. 

The discussion of the union of the provinces had been 
heard at intervals during the American Civil War, and most 
people who gave any attention to the subject approved of it. 
It was when the matter came up in a practical form that 
opposition was manifested. 

At the time when the Atlantic provinces began to discuss 
Maritime union the people of Canada and the people of New 
Brunswick, owing to the lack of the means of intercourse, 
were almost unknown to each other. In fact, the people of 
New Brunswick knew much more of their United States 
neighbours than they did of their fellow-subjects in Canada. 

The New Brunswick legislature in 1864 agreed to negotiate 
with Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as to the best 
means of effecting a Maritime union. A convention was held 
at Charlottetown in September. The New Brunswick dele 
gates were Samuel L. Tilley, W. H. Steeves, J. M. Johnson, 
E. B. Chandler and John H. Gray. The first three were 
members of the government, while Chandler and Gray were 
members of the opposition. A delegation of the leading 
statesmen of Canada sought admission to this convention to 
discuss with the Maritime Province men the question of a 
federation of all the British provinces in North America. 
The story of the conference at Charlottetown and of the 
subsequent conference at Quebec is told elsewhere in these 
volumes. 1 At the Quebec conference the New Brunswick 
delegates were the same as at Charlottetown, with the addi 
tion of the Hon. Charles Fisher and the Hon. Peter Mitchell. 

No strong feeling was at first evinced in New Brunswick 
against Confederation, but when the details were submitted to 

1 See section in 


the people their interest grew amazingly until the question 
was debated in every village store and blacksmith s shop 
throughout the country. Many honest-minded men opposed 
Confederation because they feared it would alter the relations 
existing with the mother country. Let well enough alone, 
was the cry. Others there were who felt that they were not 
sufficiently informed upon the question to vote in its favour. 
Professional politicians embraced the opportunity to advance 
their own ends and helped in fomenting the opposition. 
There was, too, an element, not large but of some influence, 
that regarded political union with the United States as the 
destiny of New Brunswick, and opposed union with Canada 
as likely to defeat their wishes. 

It had been agreed at the Quebec conference that the first 
trial of the Confederation scheme should be made in the 
Province of New Brunswick, the legislature of which was 
about to expire. Accordingly the question was submitted to 
the people and the elections were held in March 1865. The 
time for consideration was short, and the votes of the electors 
were cast in accordance with prejudices and misconceptions 
which the advocates of the measure had not sufficient oppor 
tunity to dispel. Increased taxation was perhaps the greatest 

The result of the election was that the friends of Con 
federation went down to the most overwhelming defeat that 
till then had been suffered by any political party in New 
Brunswick. In the new house of assembly their supporters 
numbered only six in a house of forty-one members. Tilley 
and all his colleagues in the government but one shared in the 
defeat. The entire block of counties on the River St John, 
with the exception of Carleton, proved hostile to Confedera 
tion. The rest of the province was equally emphatic in its 
condemnation, only the outlying counties of Restigouche and 
Albert returning members who favoured the scheme. Not 
only this, but in many of the counties the majorities were so 
large as to make it appear hopeless to expect any change in 
the general verdict. 

And yet it was only fifteen months later when the anti- 
Confederates were as badly beaten as the advocates of Con- 


federation had been in the previous election. The effecting of 
such a revulsion of political sentiment in so short a time was 
undoubtedly the greatest personal triumph of Sir Leonard 
Tilley s career. Immediately after the defeat of his party in 
March 1865 he began a campaign for the purpose of educating 
the people on the merits of the question. Being free from 
official duty and having plenty of time on his hands, he was 
able to devote himself to the task of explaining the advantages 
of the proposed union throughout the province, and during 
1865 and the early part of the year following he spoke in 
almost every county. He was then in the prime of manhood, 
his appearance on the platform attractive, his manner digni 
fied and impressive and his voice clear and ringing. As he 
spoke his evident sincerity, the logic of his reasoning and his 
enthusiasm were so convincing that the current of public 
opinion soon began to set in favour of Confederation. It is 
quite safe to assert that Confederation would not have been 
carried in New Brunswick at so early a day had it not been for 
Tilley s personal efforts. As leader of the government that 
had approved the Quebec scheme he was very properly re 
garded as the chief of his party, and in his native province his 
name will go down to future generations identified with this 
great achievement of colonial statesmanship. 

While the Dominion was struggling to its birth, influences 
from without combined to render their unwilling aid. The 
United States government gave the provinces notice of its 
intention to terminate the reciprocity treaty. It was hoped 
by some that for the sake of free trade the Maritime Provinces 
would ere long consent to political union with their neighbours 
to the south. Congress even went so far as to pass a bill 
providing for the admission of the provinces on the most 
favourable terms as states of the American Union. This only 
served to draw the provinces closer together. The threatened 
Fenian invasion had a like effect. It was noticed that all who 
were disposed to talk lightly of British connection seemed 
to have got into the anti-Confederate camp. This helped to 
strengthen the hands of the friends of Confederation. 

In 1861 Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, a son of the Earl 
of Aberdeen, had succeeded Manners-Sutton as lieutenant- 


governor. Gordon was at first a strong advocate of the union 
of the Maritime Provinces. After his advisers had decided 
at the Charlottetown conference in favour of the larger union 
of all the British provinces, he seems to have hesitated as to 
his course. He repaired to England, and after consultation 
with the home authorities returned convinced of the propriety 
of doing all in his power to promote the general union of the 

The administration of Lieutenant -Governor Gordon is 
noteworthy for the great improvement in the organization and 
efficiency of the militia. Stimulated by the Trent affair and 
the prospective Fenian raid, the provincial government made 
a large appropriation for military purposes. This enabled 
the lieutenant-governor to arrange for a camp of instruction 
at Fredericton in July 1865, at which nine hundred men were 
in attendance for twenty-six days. They were formed into 
two battalions, the first under command of the Hon. L. A. 
Wilmot and the second under Lieutenant-Colonel W. T. 
Baird. The men received a very thorough course of military 
training under the drill-sergeants chosen from the I5th 
Regiment. Many who attended the camps were officers of 
the rural militia. A similar camp of instruction was held at 
Torryburn, near St John, the next year. The county militia 
meanwhile was everywhere reorganized and rifle clubs were 
formed in various parts of the province. Sir Georges . 
Cartier, the first Dominion minister of Militia, in his speech 
before parliament in 1868, characterized the New Brunswick 
militia system as the best in Canada at that time. 

Not long after Lieutenant-Governor Gordon s arrival in 
New Brunswick, when the St Andrews Railway had been built 
as far as Richmond, several hundred navvies, who had failed 
to receive their wages from the company, seized the rolling 
stock and plant and threatened violence to any persons 
attempting to take possession. The lieutenant-governor pro 
ceeded to Woodstock by steamer, with several companies of 
soldiers, and at once arranged for a personal interview with 
the strikers, the troops and volunteers meanwhile remaining 
at Woodstock. He was able to make a satisfactory arrange 
ment with the men, by which he was himself considerably out 


of pocket, but which was infinitely more to his credit than the 
interposition of an armed force, which would in all probability 
have resulted in bloodshed. 

The political situation in New Brunswick at the close of 
the year 1865 was such as to arouse intense interest. The 
government that had been formed in opposition to Con 
federation had trouble in its ranks, and when the appointment 
of the Hon. John C. Allen to the bench necessitated an election 
in the county of York, to the great surprise of the province the 
Hon. Charles Fisher was elected by a very large majority. 
Fisher only a few months before had been defeated by six 
hundred votes. In consequence of constitutional difficulties 
with the lieutenant-governor the government tendered its 
resignation in April 1866. A new cabinet was formed with 
Peter Mitchell, president of council ; S. L. Tilley, provincial 
secretary ; Charles Fisher, attorney-general ; Edward Willis- 
ton, solicitor-general ; John M c Millan, postmaster-general ; 
A. R. M c Clelan, chief commissioner of Public Works ; R. D. 
Wilmot and Charles Connell, members without office. Connell 
afterwards became surveyor-general. 

While the new cabinet was being formed Fenians were 
gathering on the border to invade the province. Their force 
numbered four or five hundred and was chiefly composed of 
men who had fought in the late American Civil War. They 
were recruited in New York and arrived at Eastport about 
April 10. A schooner with arms and ammunition arrived 
shortly afterwards. The Fenians cherished the delusion that 
they would find many friends and sympathizers in the pro 
vince, but their presence on the border stirred the people of 
New Brunswick as they had not been stirred for many a day. 
The call to arms was everywhere responded to. About one 
thousand men were assembled and marched to the frontier. 
The troops embodied included three batteries of volunteer 
artillery, seven companies of the St John volunteer battalion, 
one company of the first York County battalion and four 
companies of the Charlotte County militia. They remained 
on duty for nearly three months. In Carleton County the 
Woodstock Rifles were held in readiness for service, and two 
efficient infantry battalions of Home Guards were organized, 


drilled and armed. They provided their own uniforms and 
showed commendable zeal. The proposed invasion proved a 
fiasco, largely owing to the fact that the arms intended for 
the use of the Fenians were seized by the United States 
authorities. But, in any event, the frontier was too well 
guarded by British soldiers and by the militia, and the River 
St Croix and Passamaquoddy waters too thoroughly patrolled 
by British warships, to make it possible for the Fenians to 
accomplish anything, and after a while they dispersed. 

The projected raid undoubtedly helped the cause of Con 
federation. At a meeting held by the Fenian leaders in Calais, 
just across the border, on April 16, one of the Fenian leaders 
named Killian asserted that England was endeavouring to 
bring about a union of Canada and the Maritime Provinces 
in order to have an empire in America, and maintained that 
the people of the United States should be more opposed to an 
empire there than in Mexico. The Fenians, he affirmed, were 
ready to aid the people of the provinces in their resistance of 
any attempt to force Confederation on them. 

The Fenian leaders seem to have actually believed that 
the people of New Brunswick were in a state of oppression 
and were anxious to be liberated. They learned very speedily 
that the bond that united the provinces to the British Empire, 
so far from being unwelcome, was a bond of loyalty and love. 
Nothing could have done more to turn the thoughts of the 
people of British North America in the direction of mutual 
co-operation than the appearance of the Fenians upon their 
borders. The threatened Fenian invasion cost the province 
about $150,000, but there was no voice raised in criticism of 
the outlay. Patriotism has been, from the first, a marked 
characteristic of the people of New Brunswick. It could not 
be otherwise. Their loyalist ancestors in their generation 
fought for a United Empire and their sons imbibed the spirit 
of constant and unwavering loyalty to the British crown. The 
famous snow-shoe march of the lO4th New Brunswick Regi 
ment to Quebec through the blinding storm and bitter cold 
of the winter of 1813, the promptitude with which the volun 
teers gathered at the front at the time of the Fenian raids, 
the eagerness displayed to volunteer for service in the Riel 


Rebellion, the proud record obtained by the men of New Bruns 
wick in the South African War at Paardeberg and other battles, 
the fervid demonstrations over the success of British arms on 
various occasions witnessed all over the province, sufficiently 
attest the strength and fervour of the devotion that binds 
the people to the land from which their forefathers sprang. 

The general elections that were to decide the Confederation 
issue were held in the months of May and June 1866. The 
result was almost everywhere the triumphant return of the 
candidates who favoured it. Westmorland, Kent and Glou 
cester alone were opposed to the measure. The total vote 
in the province was 55,665 in favour of Confederation and 
33,767 against it. Tilley had the satisfaction of being elected 
for the city of St John by a majority of more than seven 
hundred. It was a curious circumstance that news of the 
invasion of Canada and the battle of Ridgeway arrived at the 
very moment when a prominent anti -Confederate was declar 
ing on the St John hustings that there was no danger at all 
of a Fenian invasion, and that the whole affair was got up 
by their opponents for the purpose of passing Confederation. 
The monument to the men of Toronto killed at Ridgeway 
sufficiently answers this statement. 

No time was lost in summoning the house of assembly, 
and delegates were at once appointed who were instructed 
1 to unite with the delegates of the other provinces in arranging 
with the Imperial Government for the union of British North 
America upon such terms as will secure the just rights and 
interests of New Brunswick, accompanied with provision for 
the immediate construction of the Intercolonial Railway. 

In the organization of the Dominion Leonard Tilley was 
one of the chiefs. He failed to secure the construction of the 
Intercolonial Railway by the St John River route, or by the 
Central route (since followed by the Grand Trunk Pacific 
Railway), and for this failure St John was tardy in forgiving 
him. But the odds against him proved too great. Eastern 
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were against him. In the 
Dominion cabinet he was opposed by a majority of his 
colleagues. To crown all, the imperial government, for mili 
tary reasons, strongly favoured the North Shore route. 



In the imperial parliament the British North America Act 
was passed without amendment and signed by the queen on 
March 29, 1867. Its coming into effect on the first day of 
July was joyfully observed in many parts of New Brunswick. 

The personnel of the provincial legislature was vastly 
changed in consequence of Confederation. The twelve Cana 
dian senators assigned to New Brunswick were mainly selected 
from the legislative council, which was thus depleted of its 
leading members. Of the forty-one members of the assem 
bly sixteen of the most prominent resigned their seats to 
become members of the Dominion House of Commons or to 
accept office. The provincial government was of necessity 
reorganized, with John A. Beckwith as provincial secretary. 
It had been feared by many people that there would be diffi 
culty in filling the places of the men who were translated from 
the field of provincial politics to the larger arena of the 
Dominion, but it was soon discovered that there was plenty 
of talent in the country available for both assemblies. 

Under the British North America Act the appointment of 
the lieutenant-governor passed into the hands of the Dominion 
government, and on July 23, 1868, the position was for the 
first time filled by a native of the province. The choice very 
properly fell on Lemuel Allan Wilmot, who in his early man 
hood had contended successfully for the reform of the con 
stitution and for popular rights, and had lived to see the 
principles for which he had striven so firmly established that 
they are never likely to be disturbed. 

Soon after this Attorney-General Wetmore was promoted 
to the bench as a judge of the Supreme Court. His place in 
the government was filled by George E. King, a young St 
John lawyer, who after an eventful political career became a 
judge of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick and later a 
judge of the Supreme Court of Canada. 

The New Brunswick legislature continued to be concerned 
with railway construction. So much dissatisfaction had been 
created on the St John River by the selection of the North 
Shore route for the Intercolonial Railway that a company was 


chartered to build a railway up the river from Fredericton 
to Edmundston to connect with a line from Edmundston to 
Riviere du Loup. To ensure the construction of the road 
the provincial government made a grant of 10,000 acres of 
land per mile. 

The value of the crown lands was not appreciated at the 
time, or an act that locked up 1,647,772 acres would hardly 
have been passed without opposition in both branches of the 
legislature. These lands include more than half of the total 
area of the counties of Carleton, Victoria and Madawaska, 
and in their present wilderness condition are worth at least 
three dollars per acre. The railway company has found it 
profitable to keep the tract in a wilderness state, deriving its 
revenues from the sale of timber. As the tract contains some 
of the best farming land in the province, dissatisfaction is 
often expressed at the short-sightedness of the legislature 
in making a grant that hinders the settlement of so valu 
able a region. The total expenditure of the province in 
railway construction from 1850 to the present time, in money 
and land, is reckoned at about $15,904,670. 


An important epoch from the educational as well as the 
political point of view now opened in New Brunswick. 
Lieutenant-Governor Wilmot experienced a peculiar pleasure 
in reading the speech from the throne at the opening of 
the session of the legislature in 1871. The principal topic 
of the speech was that of providing the province with a 
better system of common school education. The lieutenant- 
governor had expressed his views on this question in the 
halls of the legislature twenty-five years before. At the 
opening of the first provincial exhibition in 1852 he had 
spoken even more emphatically. He then said : 

It is unpardonable that any child should grow up in 
our country without the benefit of at least a common 
school education. It is the right of the child. It is the 
duty not only of the parent but of the people. The 
property of the country should educate the country. 


Though God has given me no child of my own to educate, 
I feel concerned for the education of the children of 
those who do possess them. I want to hear the tax 
collector for schools calling at my door. I want the 
children of the poor in the remote settlements to receive 
the advantages now almost confined to their more for 
tunate brethren and sisters of the towns. 

It was quite in accord with the sentiment of his earlier 
years that the lieutenant-governor should now say in his speech 
from the throne : The children of the poorest in the land 
should have free access to schools where they will receive at 
least the rudiments of an education, which will qualify them 
for an intelligent performance of their duties as citizens. 

The struggle for free schools rivalled the Confederation 
campaign in the excitement it created. Attorney-General 
King was the champion under whose leadership it was con 
ducted. In view of the fact that up to this time public opinion 
in New Brunswick had been adverse to free schools, it is quite 
remarkable how little opposition the measure encountered in 
the legislature. The most important division in the assembly 
was that which added to the bill a section providing that all 
schools conducted under its provisions should be non-sectarian. 
This was carried by a vote of twenty-five to ten. After the 
act had been passed the difficulties that had to be faced in 
working out the system were great. Many were from selfish 
motives strongly opposed to free schools and contended that 
the cost of the education of the youth of the land should be 
borne by their parents. The Roman Catholics, led by their 
clergy, were hostile to non-sectarian schools, and an influential 
element in the Anglican Church was opposed to the exclusion 
of religious instruction from the school curriculum. With 
most of the Protestant denominations, however, the free 
school system was popular. They were willing that their 
children should receive merely their secular education in the 
public schools and should look to their homes and their 
Sunday schools for religious instruction. It was not until 
the new school bill had become law that the struggle over 
non-sectarian schools became acute. 

The School Act was the work of Attorney-General King, 


From a photograph 


but the system under which it came into being was the creation 
of Dr Theodore H. Rand, the chief superintendent of Educa 
tion. Dr Rand performed the duties of his office with marked 
ability. The system he evolved not only placed within the 
reach of every child the opportunity of acquiring a good 
common school education, but also enabled both boys and 
girls to pass through all the grades up to the highest, and even 
to pass the matriculation examination preparatory to a course 
at the university. 1 The free school law came into operation 
on January I, 1872, but several years elapsed before it was 
accepted in all sections of the province. Meanwhile strenuous 
efforts were made at the hustings and in the courts to have it 

At the general elections held in June 1874 the only issue 
was the School Act, and in many of the constituencies it was 
fiercely debated. The endeavours of the Roman Catholics 
to uphold the principle of separate schools had the effect of 
driving the Protestant electors into the opposite camp, and 
the question became, for the most part, one of religion. The 
struggle that ensued was bitter for, unfortunately, the ele 
ment of bitterness in its most intense form is characteristic 
of religious strife. The result of the election was that out 

1 Dr Rand was present at a very enthusiastic meeting held on May 29, 1900, 
in the Parliament House at Fredericton, in connection with the celebration of the 
one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the University of New Brunswick. 
Shortly after he had entered the Assembly Hall he fell to the floor unconscious 
and a few moments later breathed his last. The Hon. George E. Foster, one of 
the distinguished graduates of the university, at the request of Chancellor Harri 
son, paid an eloquent and spontaneous tribute to the worth of Dr Rand. As 
reported in the daily press his opening words were : Mr Chancellor, this is a 
heavy task you have imposed upon me. A sudden cloud has darkened the ex 
ceeding brightness of our Centennial Day. Yet as the fulness of life underlies 
both joy and sorrow, so beyond shadow and cloud burns the eternal sua. 

A strong man has passed from our very midst, within the sound of our voices, 
within the reach of our hands. And yet, though all wished it, none could hinder 
his sudden going. In one respect the time and place of his death are singularly 
appropriate. On the very threshold of a new century his spirit has walked forth 
unhindered by material clogs to the glorious spaces where time is uncounted and 
where centuries pass unmarked. And he laid down his mortal tenement here 
in the very shadow of the place where he did his best life work. Do we ask for 
his monument ? Behold, we dwell about it. And our children and our children s 
children to far distant generations shall daily enter and worship in the temples of 
education reared on the architectural lines which the master builder laid down. 


of a house of forty-one members only five candidates were 
returned who favoured separate schools. These represented 
the Acadian counties of Gloucester, Kent and Madawaska. 

It is a curious fact that in none of the counties of the 
province has the introduction of free school education been 
of such manifest advantage in dispelling illiteracy as in these 
three counties. In Gloucester the census showed that in 
1871 more than one-half of the people of adult age were 
unable to write. In the parish of Saumarez, with 2162 
inhabitants, there was only one school with an average daily 
attendance of sixteen pupils. In the parish of Shippegan, 
with 2015 inhabitants, there were two schools with an average 
daily attendance of twenty-five. In the parish of Caraquet, 
with 3111 inhabitants, there were three schools with a total 
average attendance of thirty-six. In the whole county of 
Gloucester there were only twenty-eight schools for a popula 
tion of 18,810. In the course of forty years the population 
of the county increased from 18,810 to 32,662, and in the 
same period the number of schools increased from twenty- 
eight to one hundred and twenty-nine, and the pupils in 
attendance increased sevenfold. A corresponding advance 
is found in the counties of Kent and Madawaska. This 
means that a new generation of French Acadians has arisen 
who are well educated, intelligent and enterprising, and who 
are now represented in the legislature and in the government 
by members of the same race origin as themselves. Never 
theless, it was in the county of Gloucester that hostility to the 
School Act was most intense. In January 1875 a serious riot 
occurred at Caraquet involving loss of life and making it 
necessary to send a military force to protect life and property. 

Free schools have now been forty years in operation, and 
while it cannot be claimed that the new system is perfect, it 
cannot be denied that through its instrumentality illiteracy 
has been banished to a great extent from the rural districts. 
Schools are now almost universal throughout the province, 
and the attendance of pupils has increased from 29,837 in 
1871 to 62,994 in 1910. Making due allowance for the 
increase of population in the same period, it will be found that 
there has been an increase of more than seventy-two per cent 


in school attendance, and at the same time there has been a 
vast improvement in the quality of the teaching. 

The religious question continued to be a burning one for 
some years. The School Act was even brought up in the 
Dominion parliament with the view of obtaining remedial 
legislation, and the influence of the Quebec members was 
such that the House of Commons, by a majority vote, re 
quested the governor-general to disallow the Act of Assess 
ment for school purposes passed in the New Brunswick 
legislature. The governor-general declined to comply, and 
referred the matter to the home authorities, by whom he was 
advised that the act was within the powers of the provin 
cial legislature. The matter was eventually referred to the 
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the validity of 
the School Act was sustained. The Roman Catholics ex 
pressed a determination to maintain their own schools and 
very emphatically protested against being obliged to pay in 
addition the taxes levied for the common schools. The 
problem called loudly for solution, and in 1875 the King 
administration came to an agreement with the leading Roman 
Catholic members of the house of assembly that put an end 
to an agitation that had seriously disturbed public tran 
quillity. Under this arrangement members of religious orders 
were considered to be eligible for licences as school teachers 
on taking prescribed examinations ; buildings, the property 
of such orders or of the Roman Catholic Church, might be 
rented for school purposes by civic school boards ; and 
religious instruction might be given to Roman Catholic 
children after school hours. Some twenty years later a case 
growing out of difficulties that had arisen at Bathurst came 
before the Equity Court. The court decided that it is not 
a violation of the Common Schools Act of New Brunswick to 
employ as teachers sisters of a religious order of the Roman 
Catholic Church and to permit them while teaching to wear 
the garb of their order. Nor does the holding, before or after 
school hours, of religious exercises, for the benefit of the 
Roman Catholic scholars, by a teacher who is a sister of one 
of the religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church, render 
a school sectarian. It cannot be claimed that the School Act 


is yet entirely satisfactory to all classes, but the modifications 
in its administration have served to allay much of the irrita 
tion that prevailed, and few are now found to deny that free 
schools have proved a very great boon. 


To the administration of Attorney-General King New 
Brunswick is indebted for the Municipalities Act of 1877. 
In view of the fact that St John was incorporated in 1785, 
nearly fifty years before the date of incorporation of any other 
Canadian city, it is surprising that the province should have 
been so tardy in extending the principle of municipal govern 
ment to other communities within its borders. Fredericton, 
the capital city, was not incorporated until 1848. But 
Fredericton has the unique distinction, on this side of the 
Atlantic at least, of having been constituted a cathedral city 
by the queen s letters patent on April 25, I845. 1 

It was not until 1851 that John Ambrose Street, attorney- 
general, introduced a bill looking to the establishing of 
municipal institutions in New Brunswick. The speeches of 
the attorney-general and of those who supported the bill were 
curiously apologetic in tone. Each speaker emphasized the 
fact that the act was permissive, and that it was quite optional 
for any county to accept it or not. Carleton County was 
foremost in urging the legislation and elected its first municipal 
council the next year. York County came in under the act 
in 1855 and Sunbury in 1856. Woodstock, the shire- town of 
Carleton, was incorporated in 1856. There was then a period 
of nearly twenty years without any further change, but in 
the course of time the people gradually grew tired of the 
system of county government by the Sessions of the Peace. 

1 The letters patent, or royal commission, issued to the Right Reverend 
John Medley, first Bishop of Fredericton, contained the following clause : And 
we do further by these presents Ordain and Constitute the Town of Fredericton, 
within the said Province of New Brunswick, to be a Bishop s see and the seat of 
the said Bishop, and do ordain that the said Town of Fredericton shall henceforth 
be a City, and be called the City of Fredericton. It may be of interest to mention 
that the cathedral at Fredericton was the first Anglican cathedral (built as such 
from the foundation) erected outside the British Isles. 


In 1875 Northumberland and Gloucester were created muni 
cipalities and Moncton was incorporated as a town. This was 
the beginning of a movement that culminated in the adoption 
of the municipal system in every county under the general act 
of 1877. The principle was soon extended to smaller com 
munities, so that all towns of consequence are now incorpor 
ated and the administration of affairs brought under the direct 
control of the people. 

That New Brunswick should have been so dilatory in the 
adoption of the municipal system may have been partly due 
to the desire of the magistrates to retain the honour and 
dignity of presiding over public affairs at the Quarter Sessions. 
Many of these gentlemen were men of probity and ability, 
though rather antiquated in their ideas of civic administration 
and jealous of innovation. But the chief reasons why the 
province was tardy seem to have been the apathy of the 
people and the indifference of the legislature. It was not 
the fault of the lieutenant-governors, since several of them 
recommended the establishment of municipal government. 


At the expiration of his term of office Wilmot was succeeded 
as lieutenant-governor by another distinguished son of New 
Brunswick, the Hon. S. L. Tilley. The period of Tilley s 
term of office was marked by hard times throughout Canada, 
commercial depression, lack of enterprise, scarcity of money 
and dulness of trade. The situation was rendered more 
serious by the great St John fire of June 20, 1877. This 
disastrous conflagration destroyed the entire business part of 
the city and brought financial ruin to hundreds of families. 
Lives were lost and 15,000 people rendered homeless. The 
property destroyed included 1612 houses and extended over 
ten miles of streets. The loss was estimated at $27,000,000. 
The whole water front on the east side of the harbour was laid 
waste. Many vessels were burned at the wharves. Nearly 
every store and warehouse was destroyed, leaving the city 
without even a sufficiency of food. Every bank and news 
paper office, almost every professional office and nearly all 



the public buildings, hotels and churches were burned. In 
fact, the destruction could hardly have been more complete. 
The greatness of the calamity appealed to the world and relief 
came pouring in from every quarter, not only from neigh 
bouring towns, but from remote places in Canada, from the 
mother country and from the United States. The cities of 
Boston and Chicago, which had been similarly afflicted not 
many years before, were especially prompt in responding to 
the cry of distress. Halifax, Montreal and Toronto were 
most generous. 

Nothing could be more admirable than the spirit with 
which the people of St John set to work to repair their 
shattered fortunes. The ashes were hardly cold before they 
began to rebuild, and before the season had passed the city 
commenced to rise from its ruins. The loyalists who founded 
St John in 1783 had chosen as their motto, Ofortunati quorum 
jam mcenia surgunt. The motto served to inspire their de 
scendants with fortitude and courage as they began to build 
once more upon the naked rock. 

As it was clear that the magnitude of the calamity was 
chiefly due to the imperfect manner in which St John had 
been built, and especially to the existence of so many houses 
with shingled roofs, the need of legislation to control the re 
building of the city was recognized. A special session of the 
legislature was immediately summoned for the purpose. For 
two years after the fire St John was a very busy place and 
workmen came from all parts of America to assist in the 
rebuilding. The fire retarded the growth of the city, and only 
in recent years have its effects been overcome, but the new 
St John is a better and much handsomer city than the old. 

Other towns in the province have suffered severely by 
fire. Only a few months after the great St John fire a large 
part of the adjoining town of Portland was destroyed. Wood 
stock, the shire-town of Carleton County, was almost totally 
destroyed by fire on April 16, 1860, and again on May 17, 1877. 
More recently, on July II, 1910, the thriving town of Camp- 
bellton was practically wiped out of existence by a like 



In 1878 Tilley re-entered the field of Canadian politics as 
minister of Finance in the second administration of Sir John 
A. Macdonald, and in his first budget speech submitted to 
parliament the now famous National Policy. 1 For the next 
seven years he was constantly in the public eye and proved a 
tower of strength to his party. His health then began to fail, 
and on October 31, 1885, he was again appointed lieutenant- 
governor of New Brunswick, holding the position for nearly 
eight years. In the course of his second term the old Govern 
ment House at Fredericton was abandoned as the official 
residence of the lieutenant-governor and Sir Leonard Tilley 
thenceforth lived in St John. 2 During the closing years of 
his life this gifted statesman enjoyed the affectionate regard 
of men of all classes and conditions. He was always interested 
in the moral welfare of the community, and throughout his 
long political career his integrity was never questioned. The 
statue that stands in King Square in St John, near the spot 
where he so often addressed the electors, is by no means his 
only memorial. The province is largely indebted to his 
philanthropy and to the kindly efforts of his wife and sons 
for a number of benevolent institutions, including the Victoria 
Hospital in Fredericton, the Chipman Hospital in St Stephen, 
and in St John the Boys Industrial School, the Nurses 
Home, the Seamen s Institute and the fine building of the 
Young Men s Christian Association. 

Of the eight lieutenant-governors who succeeded Sir 
Leonard Tilley four died in office, namely, E. B. Chandler, 
John Boyd, J. J. Fraser and J. B. Snowball. The others were 
R. D. Wilmot, A. R. M c Clelan, L. J. Tweedie and Josiah 
Wood. All were men of ability, who had rendered essential 
service in their respective spheres, and each in turn presided 
with dignity and impartiality over the affairs of the province. 

The political party that carried Confederation remained 

1 Sir Leonard Tilley was a sincerely religious man, and it was his habit before 
the delivery of his budget speeches in parliament to spend half an hour in private 
devotion. He was not ostentatious in his religion. 

* This step was taken in consequence of the decision of the legislature no longer 
to provide an official residence for the lieutenant-governor. 


in power for seventeen years. During this long term it had 
as premiers A. R. Wetmore, George E. King, J. J. Eraser and 
D. L. Hanington, all of whom in due course were appointed 
judges of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick. The next 
administration had as its first premier A. G. Blair, a man of 
much ability and force of character. Its tenure of office 
saw even longer than that of the previous administration, 
extending over a quarter of a century. It came into power 
on March 3, 1883, and on the same day of the same month, 
twenty-five years later, it was defeated, after many changes 
of personnel and five changes of premiers. A. G. Blair retired 
from local politics in July 1896, to enter the Dominion cabinet 
as minister of Railways. During his administration of pro 
vincial affairs two important constitutional measures were 
adopted. One of these was the passing, in 1889, f an act 
that abolished the property qualification hitherto required of 
members of the assembly, and gave a vote, based practically 
on manhood suffrage, to every one who had resided in a con 
stituency for a year. A subsequent amendment established 
the principle of one man one vote by declaring that electors 
should henceforth vote only in the place where they resided. 
A further amendment in 1908 ensured the secrecy of the ballot. 
The other important measure referred to was the abolition of 
the legislative council, which was effected by Blair in 1891. 


The union of St John and Portland in 1889 was an im 
portant measure. It had the effect not only of uniting the 
two cities under one government, but of putting an end to 
the anomalous situation that existed between West St John, 
or Carleton, and the city proper. The affairs of these two 
divisions of the city had been conducted on such independent 
lines that it was said that the only bond of union between them 
was that they were presided over by the same mayor and 
crossed the harbour in the same ferry-boat. Since the union 
the city has entered upon a notable period of development. 
It had already got into touch with the outside world. Con 
nection had been made with the United States railway system 


in 1871, with Halifax in 1873, with Quebec in 1876 and with 
Montreal in 1889, and a missing link had been supplied by 
the construction of a fine cantilever bridge over the falls at 
the mouth of the St John River in 1885. 

For years St John has aspired to be the Liverpool of 
America. In 1871 the city ranked fourth as a shipowning 
port in the British Empire, having 808 vessels with a tonnage 
of 263,140 tons, or double that of any other Canadian port. 
Wooden shipbuilding since then has steadily declined, and 
this important industry is now a thing of the past. It is 
probable that ere long St John will again have its shipyards, 
but the vessels will be built of steel. 

Up to 1897 Portland in Maine continued to be the terminus 
of the Canadian mail-boats. This port had been adopted and 
equipped many years before by the Grand Trunk Railway 
as their port of shipment. This stirred up the pride and 
sensitiveness of the people of St John, who proceeded to 
expend upwards of a quarter of a million dollars on terminal 
facilities for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Late in the 
summer of 1895 a proposal was made to the mayor of St John 
by the manager of the Beaver Line of steamers, sailing out of 
Montreal in the summer and from Portland in the winter, 
to adopt St John as their winter port if a subsidy were pro 
vided. Through the efforts of the St John members of 
parliament the Dominion government was induced, by way 
of experiment, to grant a subsidy of $25,000, and the Beaver 
Line established a weekly service between St John and Liver 
pool. The Canadian Pacific Railway immediately set to 
work to secure freight for the steamers. The first season so 
thoroughly demonstrated that the transatlantic business of 
Canada could be done through a Canadian port that St John 
went on with her wharf-building and plans of development. 
The city spent at least a million and a half dollars in improve 
ments and the Dominion government much more. The 
Canadian Pacific Railway and the Intercolonial Railway also 
made large expenditures for wharves and grain elevators. 
The result is that there is now ample accommodation for the 
simultaneous loading or discharge of thirteen or fourteen 
steamships. At the outset it was found necessary to remove 


some misconceptions as to the supposed dangers attending the 
navigation of the Bay of Fimdy. The publications of the St 
John Board of Trade did much to dispel the false impressions 
which existed, and experience has shown that it is not more 
dangerous to navigate the Bay of Fundy than the open ocean. 

That St John had faith in its future is seen in the fact 
that in order to start the movement for the development of 
the port the debt of the city was increased by more than a 
million dollars. The growth of the winter trade has been 
rapid and steady. In the first year there was but one line 
of transatlantic steamers, now there are ten, and the value 
of the exports has increased from about seven millions to 
more than thirty millions. No port in Canada has experienced 
anything like the growth of trade witnessed in St John during 
the last ten years. In fact, the development of the export 
trade through the port is one of the most remarkable economic 
changes that have taken place in the Dominion in the past 
quarter of a century. Doubtless a considerable part of the 
trade is new, but some of it has unquestionably been deflected 
from United States ports. The direct and indirect benefits 
of the winter port business to St John not only to its mer 
chants and tradesmen, but to the small army of able-bodied 
men employed about the wharves in loading and discharging 
and in the railway yards and grain elevators are manifest. 
The dredging and wharf-building at West St John will soon 
be overshadowed by that at East St John, where the con 
struction of a dry dock and the dredging of Courtenay Bay 
are now in progress. The wharves and piers to be built here 
will at least double the capacity of the port. The terminus 
of the National Transcontinental Railway will be at East 
St John. 

The popularity of the commission form of government, 
which has been recently adopted by a large number of cities 
in the United States, led to a study of its merits and eventually 
to its adoption in St John. While it is yet too soon to speak 
decidedly as to the advantages or disadvantages of this form 
of municipal administration, the results are so far highly 
satisfactory. The citizens are encouraged in their faith in 
its merits not only by their own experience, but by the fact 


that in the United States not one of the two hundred and five 
cities now under the commission form of government has 
reverted to the old system. Commission government is both 
plastic and effective, one of its chief advantages being that it 
avoids divided responsibility and enables the community to 
see that the work to be done is accomplished without any waste 
of energy or obstruction by departmental technicalities. The 
fight against the new rule has been taken up chiefly by the 
professional politician class, the element that thrives on muni 
cipal spoils. It is not unfitting that the first incorporated 
city in Canada should be the first to make trial of the com 
mission form of government. 


A brief resume of recent political events is now in order. 
After A. G. Blair entered the larger field of Dominion politics 
he was succeeded as premier by James Mitchell, who died soon 
after. In the next fourteen years there were six premiers : 
H. R. Emmerson, L. J. Tweedie, Wm. Pugsley, C. W. Robin 
son, J. Douglas Hazen and J. K. Flemming. Of these 
Emmerson, Pugsley and Hazen resigned leadership in the 
provincial government to acceptoffice in the Dominion cabinet, 
and Tweedie to become lieutenant-governor. The present 
administration (1913) came into power under Hazen s leader 
ship in 1908. 

Premier Flemming, of Carleton County, met with aston 
ishing success in the elections of 1912, in which, in a house of 
forty-seven members, only two candidates were elected in 
opposition to his policy. The legislation of the last ten years 
has continued to be concerned with railway construction. 
With the completion of the St John Valley Railway only 
about a dozen parishes in New Brunswick, out of a total of 
one hundred and forty-six, will be left untouched by a railway. 
The problem of transportation, which so vexed the pioneers, 
has found its solution. 



HE history of representative government in the 
Atlantic provinces begins with the commission of 
Governor Cornwallis in 1749, by which he was 
empowered to convene a general assembly of the freeholders 
and planters resident in the colony of Nova Scotia. The 
territory which afterwards became the Province of New 
Brunswick was then a part of Nova Scotia, and remained so 
for more than a quarter of a century after the first parliament 
met at Halifax. Prince Edward Island was not given a 
separate constitution until 1773. Hence, as early political 
institutions discharging the executive, legislative and judi 
cial functions of government in the other two Atlantic 
provinces were only replicas of those established in Nova 
Scotia, and as there was but slight difference in the fabric of 
such institutions in all of these provinces down to the time of 
Confederation, our examination of them as they appear in 
the annals of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island can 
be made with greater brevity than is possible in tracing their 
character and history at first hand as we find them in the 
older province. 



REPRESENTATIVE government in the Province of 
Nova Scotia did not have its origin in some single and 
determinate statutory grant by the imperial parlia 
ment. There was nothing like the Constitutional Act of 1791 
(31 Geo. in (Imp.), cap. 31), which guaranteed representative 
assemblies in Upper and Lower Canada. On the contrary, 
popular institutions in Nova Scotia, the oldest of the colonies 



out of which the Dominion of Canada was formed, were 
primarily the creation of the crown in the exercise of its 

The claim has been made that the territory called Acadie, 
colonized by the French in the first quarter of the seventeenth 
century, actually belonged to England at the time of such 
colonization by right of discovery by the Cabots in the reign 
of the first Tudor. 1 Indeed, it was solemnly declared by the 
assembly of the province in the preamble to one of its first 
enactments, that this Province of Nova Scotia, or Acadie, 
and the property thereof, did always of right belong to the 
Crown of England both by priority of discovery and ancient 
possession. This claim, however, rests upon an insubstantial 
foundation. History, it is true, records the attempted exer 
cise of an act of ownership by the crown of England in 1621, 
when James I made a grant of lands in the colony to his secre 
tary, Sir William Alexander. But at that time the inchoate 
title of England derivable from discovery had not become 
ripened by occupancy, for there was no real settlement of 
the country by the English before the coming of the French. 
Nor was there any English colonization worthy of the name 
after Cromwell s fleet conquered the French in 1654 ; and 
the country was again passed over to the French king by 
the Treaty of Breda, in 1667. Moreover, while the colony 
of Massachusetts sent over an expedition under Sir William 
Phips, in 1690, which captured the French forts in Acadie and 
declared the country to be annexed to Massachusetts, the 
French settlers were allowed to remain on their lands. Seven 
years afterwards, by the Treaty of Ryswick, the colony was 
again formally restored to France. Hence, the proprietary 
rights of Great Britain in Nova Scotia such, at least, as 
would be recognized by international law are not other, nor 
older, than those conveyed by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, 
by which Nova Scotia, or Acadia, with its ancient boundaries 
was unreservedly and finally ceded by France to the crown 
of England. These ancient boundaries comprised not only 
the territory now known as the Province of Nova Scotia 
(excluding Cape Breton, which, along with Prince Edward 

1 See Forsyth, Cases and Opinions on Constitutional Law, p. 26. 


Island, was not ceded to England until 1763), but also the 
Province of New Brunswick, as well as a part of what is now 
the State of Maine. 

From the date of the Treaty of Utrecht down to that of 
the first real attempt by the British to colonize the territory, 
namely, the founding of the city of Halifax in 1749, civil 
government of a crude sort was administered at Annapolis 
by the commander of the forces stationed there, who acted 
as governor and was assisted by his senior officers as council 
lors. In the latter year the Hon. Edward Cornwallis was 
made governor, and was authorized by his commission to set 
up a general system of public order and government in the 
colony. The commission of Governor Cornwallis is one of 
the most important documents in the history of imperial 
politics. Some of its provisions help so much towards a clear 
understanding of the development of representative govern 
ment in Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic provinces that 
they deserve quotation at length in this place. In the third 
paragraph of the commission we find the following directions 
to the governor as to the choosing of his council : 

And for the better administration of justice, and the 
management of the public affairs of our said Province, 
we hereby give and grant unto you, the said Edward 
Cornwallis, full power and authority to choose, nominate 
and appoint such fitting and discreet persons as you shall 
either find there or carry along with you not exceeding 
the number of twelve, to be of our Council in our said 
Province. And also to nominate and appoint by warrant 
under your hand and seal all such other officers and 
ministers as you shall judge proper and necessary for our 
service and the good of the people whom we shall settle 
in our said Province until our further will and pleasure 
shall be known. 

Paragraphs 6, 7 and 27 relate to the same conciliar body, 
and read, in part, as follows : 

And if it shall at any time happen that by the death, 
departure out of our said Province, suspension of any 
of our said Councillors, or otherwise, there shall be a 
vacancy in our said Council (any five whereof we do 


hereby appoint to be a quorum) our will and pleasure 
is that you signify the same unto us by the first oppor 
tunity that we may under our signet and sign manual 
constitute and appoint others in their stead. 

But that our affairs at that distance may not suffer 
for want of a due number of Councillors, if ever it shall 
happen that there shall be less than nine of them resid 
ing in our said Province, we hereby give and grant unto 
you the said Edward Cornwallis full power and authority 
to choose as many persons out of the principal free 
holders inhabitants thereof as will make up the full 
number of our said Council to be nine and no more ; 
which persons so chosen and appointed by you shall be to 
all intents and purposes Councillors in our said Province 
until either they shall be confirmed by us, or that by the 
nomination of others by us under our sign manual or 
signet our said Council shall have nine or more persons 
in it. 

And our further will and pleasure is that all public 
money raised, or which shall be raised by any Act here 
after to be made within our said Province be issued out 
by Warrant from you by and with the advice and consent 
of the Council and disposed of by you for the support of 
the Government, and not otherwise. 

By far the most important directions in the commission, 
however, are those contained in paragraphs 8 to 15 inclusive. 
They relate to the creation of a legislative assembly for the 

And we do hereby give and grant unto you full power 
and authority, with the advice and consent of our said 
Council, from time to time as need shall require, to 
summon and call General Assemblies of the Freeholders 
and Planters within your government according to the 
usage of the rest of our Colonies and Plantations in 
America. . . . 

And that you the said Edward Cornwallis with the 
advice and consent of our said Council and Assembly, 
or the major part of them respectively, shall have full 
power and authority to make, constitute, and ordain 
Laws, Statutes and Ordinances for the Public peace, 
welfare and good government of our said Province and 
of the people and inhabitants thereof and such others as 


shall resort thereto and for the benefit of us, our heirs 
and successors, which said Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances 
are not to be repugnant, but as near as may be agreeable, 
to the Laws and Statutes of this our Kingdom of Great 

Provided that all such Laws, Statutes and Ordinances, 
of what nature or duration so ever be within three months 
or sooner after the making thereof transmitted to us 
under our Seal of Nova Scotia for our approbation or 
disallowance thereof, as also duplicates by the next 

And in case any or all of the said Laws, Statutes and 
Ordinances not before confirmed by us shall at any time 
be disallowed, and not approved and so signified by us 
our Heirs or Successors under our or their sign manual 
and signet, or by order of our or their Privy Council 
unto you the said Edward Cornwallis, or to the Com 
mander in Chief of our said Province for the time being, 
then such and so many of the said Laws, Statutes and 
Ordinances as shall be so disallowed and not approved 
shall from thenceforth cease, determine and become 
utterly void and of none effect, anything to the contrary 
thereof notwithstanding. 

And to the end that nothing may be passed or done 
by our said Council or Assembly to the prejudice of us 
our Heirs and Successors, we will and ordain that you 
the said Edward Cornwallis shall have and enjoy a 
negative voice in the making and passing of all Laws, 
Statutes and Ordinances as aforesaid. 

The power to erect courts of justice by the exercise of the 
royal prerogative, and to appoint judges thereto, is delegated 
as follows : 

And we do by these presents give and grant unto you 
the said Edward Cornwallis full power and authority, 
with advice and consent of our said Council, to erect, 
constitute and establish such and so many Courts of 
Judicature and Public Justice within our said Province 
and Dominion as you and they shall think fit and neces 
sary for the hearing and determining all causes as well 
Criminal as Civil according to law and equity, and for 
awarding of execution thereupon with all reasonable and 
necessary powers, authorities, fees and privileges belong- 


ing thereunto, as also to appoint and commissionate fit 
persons in the several parts of your Government to ad 
minister the oaths mentioned in the aforesaid Act, en 
titled * An Act for the further security of His Majesty s 
Person and Government and the Succession of the Crown 
in the heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestants, 
and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince 
of Wales and his open and secret abettors ; as also to 
administer the aforesaid declaration unto such persons 
belonging to the said Courts as shall be obliged to take 
the same. 

And we do hereby authorize and impower you to con 
stitute and appoint Judges and in cases requisite Com 
missioners of Oyer and Terminer, Justices of the Peace, 
and other necessary officers and ministers in our said 
Province for the better administration of justice and 
putting the laws in execution, and to administer or 
cause to be administered unto them such oath or oaths 
as are usually given for the due execution and perfor 
mance of offices and places and for the clearing of truth 
in judicial causes. 

But Cornwallis, after the manner of the proconsuls of his 
day and generation, looked askance at the project of popular 
government. He was persuaded that democratic aspirations 
in the colony were best checked by confining the exercise of 
his powers to passing ordinances in his council for the regula 
tion of peace and order, and by erecting courts of justice. 
This policy of abstention from summoning an assembly, con 
tinued by Hopson, who succeeded Cornwallis in 1752, enabled 
the governor and his council to retain both the executive and 
legislative functions of government in their hands. It was 
maintained for a period of nine years. In the year 1758, 
largely through the efforts of the Hon. Jonathan Belcher, a 
native of Massachusetts, who had been appointed chief justice 
of the colony, Governor Lawrence was instructed to cause 
representatives of the people to be elected, and the first 
general assembly was summoned on October 2 of that year 
at Halifax. This was the first elected legislative body in 
British North America. The several legislatures of Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as they 
exist to-day, find a common parentage in this, the first parlia- 


ment convened in the Maritime Provinces at a date antecedent 
by thirty-four years to that of the earliest meeting of any 
similar body in the Canadas. And it is worthy of note that 
the project of establishing a settlement at Halifax was first 
suggested to the imperial authorities by the legislature of 
Massachusetts, and that the settlers from that colony, under 
the leadership of Chief Justice Belcher, played the largest 
part in achieving the beginnings of political liberty in the land 
of their adoption. 

It was after the manner above set forth that the founda 
tions of self-government were laid in the colony ; and by 
means of further concessions of autonomy by the crown a 
complete fabric of popular institutions was subsequently built 
up. So successfully had the provincial constitution been 
planned and worked years before the confederation of the 
provinces in 1867 that the British North America Act con 
tinued it in force in its integrity, and it has not since been 
altered. The Hon. A. G. Archibald, sometime lieutenant- 
governor of Nova Scotia, spoke with force and exactness 
when he said : 

No formal charter or constitution ever was conferred, 
either on the province of Nova Scotia or upon Cape 
Breton while that island was a separate province. The 
constitution of Nova Scotia has always been considered 
as derived from the terms of the Royal commissions 
to the Governors and Lieu tenant-Governors, and from 
the instructions which accompanied the same, moulded 
from time to time by despatches from Secretaries of 
State, conveying the will of the Sovereign, and by Acts 
of the local legislature, assented to by the Crown ; the 
whole to some extent interpreted by uniform usage and 
custom in the colony. 

And what was thus predicated of Nova Scotia is equally 
applicable to the constitution of the other Atlantic provinces, 
since the one was made a type for the others. 

His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, on the occa 
sion of his dedicating the Memorial Tower to representative 
government in the British colonies, at Halifax, in August 1912, 
very justly observed : 



This tower will form an enduring monument to the 
British colonial policy which has always been followed 
since ; namely, the granting of representative govern 
ment to colonies as soon as they proved themselves fit 
for that privilege, and the wisdom of this policy was 
most certainly confirmed by the subsequent history of 
Nova Scotia. 

Indeed, the emergence of representative government in 
these provinces from the uncongenial domain of the pre 
rogative in the middle of the eighteenth century, and its 
subsequent evolution to the highest stage of autonomy com 
mensurate with their position as dependencies, speak volumes 
for the tact and prevision of native statesmen, and is a matter 
of significance to those who follow the democratic genius of 
the British people along the paths of history. 

Having ventured to make this more or less general his 
torical survey of the provincial constitution in its incipient 
stages, we shall next proceed to consider the organization and 
functions of its executive, legislative and judicial branches in 
the following order : 

(a) The office of lieutenant-governor. 

(b) The executive council. 

(c) The legislature, consisting of an upper chamber known 
as the legislative council, and a lower house described as the 
legislative assembly. 

(d) The public departments of government. 

(e) The judicial system and courts of the province. 


In the early days of British colonial government in America 
the imperial authorities authorized some one, usually a military 
officer of high rank, either resident in the colony or sent there 
for the purpose, to represent the crown under the title of 
governor/ or some equivalent, subject to such instructions 
as might be sent him from time to time for the establishment 
of law and order among the settlers. The governors of Nova 
Scotia were first styled in their commissions captains- 
general and commanders in chief. Provision was usually 


made in the commissions for the appointment of a lieutenant- 
governor, to act in the absence of the governor ; and when 
both were absent the senior member of the council was em 
powered to act in their stead. In 1792, for some reason better 
known to the Board of Trade and Plantations than to the 
present-day student of constitutional documents, the title of 
the representative of the crown in Nova Scotia was changed 
to lieutenant-governor and commander in chief, although 
the powers and authority of the office remained unchanged. 

Originally the governor was commissioned to act in the 
capacity of vice-admiral, so that, in virtue of his joint offices 
as captain-general and vice-admiral, he controlled the forces 
by land and sea within the province. Having the custody of 
the public seal of the colony, according to the usual practice 
in the case of colonial governors, he was empowered by his 
commission and instructions to act as chancellor with juris 
diction in such capacity in all cases involving chancery law 
and procedure. This jurisdiction had been a matter of uni 
versal complaint in the American colonies, the settlers pro 
testing that its exercise required the services of a trained 
lawyer. But it was not until 1826 that the king appointed 
for the province a master of the rolls, whose court gradually 
absorbed the entire chancery jurisdiction in litigated cases, 
although the governor s signature as chancellor was long 
required to give validity to an order or decree of the master 
of the rolls. The governor acted as Ordinary during the 
short time the Church of England was established in the 
province, and as such had certain privileges in the appoint 
ment of the clergy to their missions. He also issued warrants 
for commissions to privateers, and as commander-in-chief had 
the appointment of all militia officers. Some of these powers 
had either fallen into desuetude or become abolished long 
before Confederation. But at that date the governor was the 
head of the executive government of the province, and was a 
constituent part of its legislature, exercising all the prerogative 
rights of the crown necessary for the safety and protection of 
the people, the due administration of the law, and the conduct 
of public affairs. He had the power of convening, adjourning 
and dissolving the provincial parliament, and his assent was 


necessary before any bill passed by the council and assembly 
became law. 

It is hardly necessary to say that, under the provincial 
constitution as settled by the British North America Act, the 
lieutenant-governor is as much a constituent part of the legis 
lature as he was before the Union. It could not be otherwise 
under a system of British constitutional government, wherein 
the king, for the pur-pose of protecting the royal executive 
authority, has always a share in legislation to the extent of 
his assent being necessary before an act of the legislature 
becomes law. This is in the nature of a check upon legisla 
tion for the preservation of the prerogative, rather than a 
power of legislation ; and its raison d etre is disclosed in the 
following excerpt from the commission of Governor Corn- 
wallis : And to the end that nothing may be passed or done 
by our said Council or Assembly to the prejudice of us, our 
heirs and successors, we will and ordain that you . . . shall 
have and enjoy a negative voice in the making and passing of 
all Laws, Statutes and Ordinances. 

The lieutenant-governor, under the pre-Confederation 
constitution, also appointed his executive council, the mem 
bers of the legislative council, the judges, the law-officers, the 
civil servants, sheriffs and justices of the peace. He had 
control of the hereditary revenues and lands of the crown 
within the province. All moneys drawn out of the treasury 
could be paid only on a warrant under his hand. He exer 
cised the right to pardon any person convicted under the 
criminal law and to suspend execution in capital cases. For 
any official acts within his competence he was not amenable 
to any civil or criminal tribunal in the province, for the reason 
that liability to imprisonment in a civil suit or under indict 
ment would be incompatible with his character as a repre 
sentative of the sovereignty and dignity of the crown. But 
for any acts done in his private capacity, or in excess of his 
official powers, he was liable in the local courts. Although 
the question is not beyond doubt, there is strong authority 
for the view that a colonial governor was always amenable 
in the local courts for crimes committed in the colony, whether 
they were or were not connected with his official position. 


In the exercise and enjoyment of the various powers and 
privileges accorded him previously the lieutenant-governor 
was maintained by the provisions of the British North 
America Act, except in so far as the transference of certain 
matters from the provincial to the federal authority by the 
provisions of that statute vested the prerogative rights apper 
taining to them in the governor-general. It may be added 
that the British North America Act, 1867, provides that the 
lieutenant-governor of each province shall be appointed by 
the governor-general in council by instrument under the Great 
Seal of Canada, that he shall hold office during the pleasure 
of the governor-general, and that his salary shall be fixed and 
provided by the parliament of Canada. But it is a mistake 
to predicate upon these provisions, as one constitutional 
writer 1 has done, that the lieutenant-governor is an officer 
of the Dominion. There is the support of the highest 
authority for the proposition that the lieutenant-governor 
is wholly independent of federal control within the ambit 
of his jurisdiction, and that he is as much the representa 
tive of the crown for all the purposes of provincial govern 
ment as the governor-general is for all purposes of Dominion 

As regards the office of the lieutenant-governor the British 
North America Act prevents any alteration of the constitution 
respecting it by the provincial legislature, and while a strict 
construction of subsection 29 of section 91 would seem to 
enable the parliament of Canada to alter it, the matter is one, 
in the opinion of eminent constitutional authority, to be left 
to the imperial parliament. 

It remains to be said that the provincial legislature in 1896 
passed an act purporting to give the lieutenant-governor the 
power of commuting and remitting sentences for offences 
against the laws of the province. The pardoning power in 
respect of offences against the criminal law of Canada com 
mitted within the province is exercised only by the governor- 

1 Bourinot, How Canada is Governed, p. 147. 



As will be seen by the royal commission issued to Governor 
Cornwallis in 1749, he was empowered to appoint, for the 
better administration of justice, and the management of the 
public affairs of the province, such fitting and discreet 
persons as you shall either find there, or carry along with you, 
not exceeding the number of twelve, to be of our Council in 
our said province. 

The body so authorized to be brought into being became 
a miniature copy of the Curia Regis of early Norman times in 
England. As presided over by the governor, it was, at the 
outset, a complete organ of government exercising executive, 
legislative and judicial functions within the colony. After 
representatives of the people were summoned to parliament 
the executive council sat as the upper chamber of the legis 
lature. While it is said to have been the practice in some of 
the older American colonies for the governor to be present 
at the legislative deliberations of the council, acting as its 
chairman or president and taking part in its discussions, this 
was not the case in Nova Scotia, at least since 1763, when it 
is on record that the chief justice of the Supreme Court held 
the position of president, the chair in his absence being taken 
by the senior member of the council. 

Although it would appear from the terms of the commission 
of Governor Cornwallis that he enjoyed the exclusive right to 
appoint members of the executive council, yet some were 
originally appointed by the crown in England, a writ of man 
damus being directed to the governor to fix their rank and 
precedence. The council consisted of twelve members. It 
included among its members the bishop of the province and 
the chief justice, or some other of the judges, but they were 
not members ex officio. Belonging either to the salaried 
official class or the more wealthy of the settlers, its members 
were not requited for their services except in so far as reward 
lay in the right to be called Honourable a tag that the 
crown has not yet ceased to conjure with, and an epithet still 
connoting value, in the colonial democracy. As will be seen 


hereafter, it was not until Joseph Howe succeeded in carrying 
through the house of assembly his famous Twelve Resolu 
tions for reforming the constitution and methods of the upper 
chamber that members of the Anglican episcopate and of the 
judiciary, as such, ceased to be called to the council. 

Speaking generally, the executive council was the crown s 
Privy Council within the province. The members were 
obliged to attend upon the governor whenever he summoned 
them for advice. They were also empowered to sit, under 
the presidency of the governor, as a Court of Error or appeal 
in civil cases from the courts of common law. Each member 
had the authority of a justice of the peace, with jurisdiction 
as such throughout the province. Their office, nominally 
held at the crown s pleasure, came to be treated as a life 
tenure ; but absence from the province without leave for 
a year was regarded as tantamount to resignation. 

From the year 1758 down to the advent of that sturdy 
tribune of the people, Joseph Howe, upon the political stage, 
His Majesty s council a designation that the members of 
the conciliar body, lacking the saving grace of humour, were 
beyond measure pleased with controlled the affairs of the 
province despite the remonstrances of the popular branch 
of the legislature. Sitting with closed doors, they decided 
the fate of legislation sent up from the lower house. They 
could even decline concurrence in revenue bills. True, the 
members of the popular chamber could refuse supplies, but 
to exploit this constitutional check on the prerogative would 
have been only to launch a brutum fulmen, as the salaries of 
the high officials sitting in the council were fixed by statute, 
and the other government expenditures were payable out of 
casual and territorial revenue disbursed under the governor s 
warrant on the advice of the council. Thus the province 
found that the invitation it had received to sit at the lordly 
table of political freedom meant only to partake of a Bar 
mecide s feast. Possessing a charter of representative govern 
ment, it was ruled by an oligarchy. 

To banish this constitutional travesty, and to make repre 
sentative government in theory spell responsible government 
in practice, was the achievement to which Howe addressed 


himself when he became a member of the assembly in the year 
1836. Providence cast him as protagonist in a drama of 
reform where the temper of a freedom-loving people, tried 
to the breaking-point by reactionary officialdom, only stopped 
short of a revolutionary denouement. Relentless in his hos 
tility to those who were misgoverning his country, he was 
magnificently loyal to the crown. What Lord Rosebery has 
said of Gladstone could be said with greater truth of Howe 
in the pursuit of the cause he had espoused : He swept on 
with the passion of a tempest, and the persistence of some 
puissant machine. The totality of the reforms accomplished 
by purely constitutional methods in little more than a 
decade, as the result of labours begun by him immediately 
upon his being sworn a member of the house, meant respon 
sible government for his native province in the most affluent 
sense of the term. 

The answer of His Majesty King William iv to the address 
of the house of assembly, based upon Howe s Twelve Resolu 
tions of February 1837, was to the effect that the sovereign s 
cheerful assent was given to the greater part of the measures 
that Howe had suggested, and that His Majesty was con 
vinced that they would be conducive alike to the honour of 
the Crown and to the welfare of his faithful subjects. Mea 
sures of reform were undertaken almost immediately by the 
colonial office. In 1838 a new legislative council, consisting 
of nineteen members, appointed by the lieutenant-governor, 
was constituted as the upper chamber of the legislature, 
whose deliberations, instead of being conducted behind closed 
doors, were open to the public. The old Council of Twelve 
was continued as the executive council, but four of its members 
were appointed from the house of assembly. In 1840 Howe 
accepted a seat there at the request of Lord Falkland. But 
while this was reform of a kind, the reformers were not content 
with an amorphous executive body embracing representatives 
of both parties while political strife ran high in the province. 
Howe did not long retain his seat there. He resigned it in 
1843, feeling that to remain longer would imperil his influence 
in the assembly. In the general election of 1847 he was 
returned to parliament with a large majority of reformers at 


his back. On June 26, 1848, upon a motion of want of con 
fidence, the government, led by the Hon. J. W. Johnston, was 
defeated in the lower house by a majority of seven votes. 
Two days afterwards the members of the executive council 
resigned, and James B. Uniacke, one of Howe s staunchest 
adherents, was asked by the lieutenant-governor, Sir John 
Harvey, to form an administration, and to submit the names 
of its members in accordance with the practice prevailing in 
the mother country. Uniacke accepted this responsibility, 
and in a very short time succeeded in reporting to the lieu 
tenant-governor the personnel of the first cabinet council 
called into being in the history of the province. Since then 
no administration has ventured to hold office without possess 
ing the confidence of the popular branch of the legislature. 

By the statutes of the province the executive council 
now consists of nine members appointed by the lieutenant- 
governor. From among such members he appoints, under 
the great seal of the province, persons to hold, during plea 
sure, the offices of provincial secretary, attorney-general, and 
commissioner of Public Works and Mines. The premier may 
hold any one of these offices. The duties of the provincial 
ministry in respect of the several departments over which its 
members preside, and of the subordinate officers of such de 
partments, are prescribed by order of the lieutenant-governor 
in council. 

In the same year that witnessed the passing of the old 
executive council the house of assembly secured from the 
colonial office the control and distribution of the casual and 
territorial revenues of the province, whether consisting of fees 
of office, sales of lands, royalty of mines, or the old crown 
duties, which were formerly controlled by the governor and 


I. The Legislative Council. As has been shown above, it 
was not until the year 1838 that Nova Scotia had a properly 
constituted legislative council. In the address of the house 
of assembly to the king, in the preceding year, the urgent 


necessity for the separation of the executive council from the 
body sitting as the upper chamber of the provincial legislature 
was set forth with such cogency of argument that the appeal 
could not be denied. On February 3, 1838, instructions were 
forwarded from England to Lord Durham, as captain-general 
and governor-in-chief of Nova Scotia, declaring it to be the 
pleasure of Her Majesty that there should be within our said 
Province of Nova Scotia two distinct and separate councils, 
to be respectively called the Legislative Council and the 
Executive Council of our said Province. But the prayer of 
the assembly was not wholly granted. It was asked that the 
legislative council should be made an elective body, but 
instead of this the selection of its members was left to the 
pleasure of the lieutenant-governor in council, a system that 
still prevails. 

In the beginning this council was limited to fifteen 
members ; but in the year 1862, by his commission, Lord 
Monck was empowered to increase the number of members 
to twenty-one. This was not altered at the time of Con 
federation, nor since. Authority is, however, given to the 
provincial legislature by section 88 of the British North 
America Act to amend at any time the constitution of the 

By the provincial laws it is declared that no member of 
the Senate or House of Commons of Canada shall be capable 
of being appointed to the legislative council, and that if a 
member of that body accepts a seat in the Senate, or is elected 
a member of the House of Commons, or is nominated as a 
candidate for the representation of any electoral district 
in the House of Commons, his seat in the council shall be 
come vacant. Absence from the council for two consecutive 
sessions without the consent of the lieutenant-governor in 
council will render any member s place in the council vacant. 
Any one who is disqualified by a judgment of the courts from 
sitting in the House of Commons is ineligible for appointment 
to the council. In the Powers and Privileges Act (R. S., 1900, 
cap. 2) will be found a lengthy list of holders of public offices 
who are disqualified for appointment to the legislative council, 
including the judges of the higher courts of justice, certain 


deputies of the provincial ministers, and postmasters and their 

Under the above-mentioned enactment the legislative 
council and its committees and members are entitled to the 
like privileges, immunities and powers as those appertaining 
to the Senate of Canada, its committees and members. 
Further powers and privileges appertaining to the legislative 
council are set forth in this act, but, as they are shared by 
the house of assembly, more extended reference to them will 
be reserved until that branch of the provincial legislature is 

The president of the legislative council is appointed by 
the lieutenant-governor in council, and holds office during 
pleasure. It is his duty to occupy the chair in all the delibera 
tions of the chamber, and to take the votes of the members. 
There is also a clerk of the council, whose duty is to register 
the proceedings of the chamber, and to see to the communica 
tion of the ordinary messages of intercourse, whether written 
or verbal, with the lower house of the legislature. 

The legislative council has authority to initiate or amend 
all matters of legislation, with the exception of money or 
revenue bills. While it may refuse concurrence in such bills, 
it is not within its competence to amend them. 

The rules of procedure in the legislative council are those 
ordinarily observed in British parliamentary bodies. 

2. The Legislative Assembly. A reference to the terms of 
the commission to Governor Cornwallis will show that the 
function of the general assembly was intended to be legis 
lative only, and that it lacked any authority to interfere 
with the executive government as vested in the governor and 
council. But the authority of the assembly was plenary in 
its sphere, for by the grant of legislative power to the colony 
the competence of the crown in the exercise of its prerogative 
to make laws for its internal government had passed away. 
Yet the crown, as represented by the governor, was a con 
stituent branch of the legislature. Hence, as it was declared 
in the commission to Cornwallis that the public revenues 
(derivable from the sale of public lands within the colony, 


royalties from mines, and customs duties, together with 
certain grants provided in the imperial budget for civil 
establishment) should be disbursed by the governor s warrant, 
it can be readily understood that the members of the assembly 
lacked that thaumaturgic influence over the executive that 
subsists in the right of the popular branch of parliament to 
withhold supplies. Moreover, the right of the governor to 
veto legislation was another check upon the freedom of action 
of the assembly in its early stages ; although, it is true, this 
right was seldom, if ever, put into practice, the governors 
preferring to let doubtful enactments be submitted for con 
firmation or disallowance by the crown instead of exercising 
their own power to negative the same. But the most in 
superable obstacle to popular control of the executive was 
not removed, as we have seen above, until the year 1848, 
when the legislative assembly obtained full control over all 
the public revenues. 

The rights and privileges of the assembly, while com 
mensurate with the requirements of a representative institu 
tion moulded upon English lines, were not co-extensive with 
those obtaining under the lex et consuetudo parliament*. 
Chalmers (i Col. Op. 265) publishes an opinion of Attorney- 
General Pratt to the effect that colonial assemblies were 
governed by the terms of their charters, the principles of the 
common law and colonial usages, and that the peculiar law of 
the British House of Commons did not apply to them. This 
view was affirmed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy 
Council in the somewhat recent case of Fielding v. Thomas 
((1906) A. C. 600), where it was held that in the absence of 
express authority from the imperial parliament a colonial 
legislature could not confer on itself the privileges of the 
British House of Commons, or the power to punish the breach 
of those privileges by imprisonment or committal for contempt. 

Formerly it was necessary for members of both chambers 
in the provincial legislature, before taking their seats, to 
make and subscribe the declarations against transubstantia- 
tion, the invocation of saints and the sacrifice of the mass, as 
practised in the Church of Rome ; but this was expressly 
remitted by the king in the case of a member from Cape 


Breton elected after the final annexation of that island to 
the province in 1820, and in 1830 such declarations were 
wholly abolished by an act of the legislature. 

The above reference to Cape Breton makes it apposite to 
state here that in 1784 the island was given a separate constitu 
tion, consisting of a lieutenant-governor and council. This 
was not carrying out to the full the constitution contemplated 
by the commission issued in that year to the Governor- 
General of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and St John s (now 
Prince Edward) Island, which provided for a general assembly 
in each of the provinces. It is said that this was intended 
as a temporary expedient of government so far as Cape Breton 
was concerned, and that the governor-general (John Parr) 
was privately instructed not to have an assembly called in 
that island. Be that as it may, no assembly was ever called 
in the Island of Cape Breton so long as it remained detached 
from Nova Scotia ; and the next thing we find in its con 
stitutional history is Lord Bathurst instructing Sir James 
Kempt, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, by letter from 
Downing Street on August 15, 1820, to the following effect : 

I had the honour of intimating to you, previous to 
your departure from this country, the decision to which 
His Majesty had come of re-annexing the island of Cape 
Breton to the government of Nova Scotia ; and you must 
have observed the alteration which had, in consequence, 
been made in your commission and instructions. 

His Majesty considers it most desirable that this 
arrangement should be no longer delayed, and has com 
manded me to instruct you to take into your immediate 
consideration the measures which may be necessary to 
give effect to His Majesty s instructions. 

Following upon this we have a proclamation by Sir James 
Kempt, dated October 9, 1820, making the necessary regula 
tions for carrying into effect the re-annexation of Cape Breton 
to Nova Scotia, and for dissolving the separate constitution of 
the island then existing. By an act of the legislature of Nova 
Scotia, dated December 22, 1820, civil government and the 
administration of justice in Cape Breton were made to con 
form to the usage and practice of Nova Scotia. 


In this connection a case of some interest to the student 
of constitutional history will be found in the fifth volume of 
Moore s Privy Council Reports (p. 259), showing that certain 
of the inhabitants of the Island of Cape Breton took their 
re-annexation with very bad grace, and went to the length of 
petitioning the crown in the matter. They asserted that the 
attempt to effect such re-annexation by an act of the pre 
rogative was invalid because the crown had given to the 
inhabitants, in 1784, the right to a local legislature, and that 
by such grant the crown had for ever emptied itself of the 
power to legislate for the island. The petitioners further 
claimed that they were entitled to a legislature under the 
commission to the governor of Nova Scotia in 1784. Their 
lordships of the Judicial Committee did not deliver any reasons 
for their judgment, but curtly reported that in their opinion 
the inhabitants of Cape Breton were not entitled to the 
constitution purporting to be granted to them by the com 
mission to Governor Parr. Thus it was that the separation 
and ultimate annexation of the two colonies were effected by 
the crown in the exercise of its prerogative, and without the 
intervention of the imperial parliament. 

It is proper to remark here that, from the inception of 
representative government in the province down to the time 
of the formation of the Dominion of Canada, the imperial 
parliament never attempted to legislate for the purely internal 
concerns of the province. But it must not be forgotten that 
it was not until the passage of the famous Renunciation Act 
of 1778 that Great Britain waived her claim to the right at 
large of levying tribute on the colonies in the shape of duties 
and taxes ; and that the Renunciation Act itself saves the 
right of the king and parliament to impose duties upon the 
colonies for the regulation of commerce directing, however, 
that the net produce of such duties should be paid and 
applied to and for the use of the colony in which they were 
levied. This, and earlier imperial enactments respecting 
colonial taxation, must be taken to assert the supreme 
authority of the imperial parliament over the colonies, 
notwithstanding any grant of the power of self-government 
having been made to them. But, in practice, this supreme 


authority is never asserted except when imperial interests 
are at stake. 

In 1846 Nova Scotia, along with the other British posses 
sions in America, was given legislative power to reduce or 
repeal any of the duties of customs imposed by imperial legisla 
tion on foreign goods imported into the province from foreign 
countries. By the Imperial Customs Act of 1857 British 
possessions abroad were empowered to regulate generally 
their customs, trade and navigation, subject only to certain 
limitations relating to discriminating duties against British 
goods and to the observance of treaty obligations. In 1849 
the colonies acquired from the imperial parliament the right 
to regulate their own postal system and to control the revenue 
therefrom. So that before Confederation Nova Scotia en 
joyed the very largest measure of autonomy over her revenues 
consistent with her position as a dependency of the British 

The house of assembly is composed of thirty-eight mem 
bers, three being elected by each of the counties of Halifax 
and Pictou, and two by each of the other counties in the 

The chief safeguards of the privileges of the assembly are : 
(a) freedom of speech on the part of its members in their 
deliberations ; (b) freedom of its members from arrest on 
ordinary civil process while attending its sessions ; (c) control 
of the qualification and election of its members ; and (d) the 
right to initiate money grants and revenue bills. 

Freedom of speech is the basic privilege of British delibera 
tive assemblies at home as well as overseas. As to the free 
dom from arrest of members of either house of the provincial 
parliament, the Powers and Privileges Act (R. S., 1900, cap. 2) 
provides that no member is liable to any civil action, or to 
prosecution, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of any 
matter or thing brought by him by petition, bill, resolution, 
motion, or otherwise, or said by him, before the house of which 
he is a member. He is also exempt from arrest for debt during 
any session of the legislature and during a period of fifteen 
days immediately preceding and immediately following such 
session. On the other hand, a member of either house is 


liable to punishment by imprisonment, on the judgment of 
the house of which he is a member, for certain offences speci 
fied in the above-mentioned act. 

Adverting to the qualification of members of the assembly, 
all that the provincial law exacts in this behalf is that a candi 
date for a seat in the house of assembly shall be a male 
British subject of the age of twenty-one years or upwards. 
Members of the Senate or House of Commons of Canada 
are ineligible for election to the house of assembly. Accept 
ance of a seat in the Senate, or being elected as a member of 
the House of Commons, as well as accepting a nomination 
for a seat in the House of Commons, will render the seat of a 
member of the assembly vacant. Judges of the higher courts 
of justice, postmasters, certain deputies of the provincial 
ministers, and other office-holders mentioned in the Powers 
and Privileges Act, are not eligible for election to the house 
of assembly. 

The law relating to the election of members of the house 
of assembly cannot be adequately epitomized in the space 
available here. Suffice it to say that the franchise granted 
by it is confined to male British subjects of the full age of 
twenty-one years, whose names are found registered on the 
voters lists for their respective polling districts on the day 
of the election. The qualifications for registry on the voters* 
lists, in addition to the above-mentioned requirements as to 
sex, nationality and age, are : (a) that the person seeking to 
vote shall not have received aid as a pauper under any law 
of the province since the last revision of the voters lists ; 
(b) that he is then assessed in respect of real property to the 
value of one hundred and fifty dollars, or in respect of personal 
property, or of personal and real property together, of the 
value of three hundred dollars ; or (c) that at the time of 
the last assessment he was in possession of real or personal 
property, or of real and personal property together, of the 
respective values above mentioned ; or (d) that he was at the 
time of the last assessment a bona fide yearly tenant of real 
property, assessed in the name of the owner, of the value of 
one hundred and fifty dollars, or in possession of personal 
property the assessed value of which, combined with that of 


the real property occupied by him as tenant, was three hun 
dred dollars, or upwards. The franchise is also extended, 
subject to certain restrictions, to sons of persons qualified to 
vote living with their fathers, or, in the case of the death of 
their fathers, living with their mothers in the possession of 
real property qualifying any male owner or occupant thereof 
to be registered, for one year next before the application to 
be placed on the list of voters. Males assessed in respect 
of income to the amount of two hundred and fifty dollars, 
or deriving an income to that amount from their earn 
ings while resident within the county where they seek 
registration, are entitled to be registered. The owner of 
fishing gear, within the county where he seeks registration, 
of the value of one hundred and fifty dollars, is also entitled 
to be registered. 

Judges of the Supreme Court and the returning officers 
(except where there is an equality of votes, when the latter 
may give a casting vote) are disqualified from voting at elec 
tions for the house of assembly. Women are also disqualified 
from exercising the ballot at such elections, although they 
may vote at municipal elections, under certain conditions, as 
will appear hereafter. 

Secret balloting prevails at elections for the assembly, 
and adequate means for effecting this secrecy are prescribed 
by the law. 

As has been pointed out in dealing with the legislative 
council, the assembly alone has the right to initiate or amend 
bills for the appropriation of the public revenue and the 
imposition of taxes. Section 90 of the British North America 
Act expressly applies the provisions of that act respecting 
appropriation and tax bills, and the recommendation of 
money votes in the parliament of Canada, to the legislatures 
of the several provinces. Thus the assembly cannot adopt 
or pass any vote, resolution, address or bill for the appro 
priation of any part of the public revenue, or of any tax or 
impost, to any purpose that has not been first recommended 
to the house by message of the lieutenant-governor. As this 
is a provision of the British North America Act, it applies 
to all the provinces. 



The house entrusts to its committees of supply and of 
ways and means the business of providing for the public 
expenditures. These committees are appointed as soon as 
the address to the so-called Speech from the Throne has 
passed the house. As the procedure of the assembly in 
passing the public and private acts is practically the same 
as that prevailing in the Dominion House of Commons, so is 
the procedure of its committees. 

The house of assembly is presided over by the speaker, 
who is a member of the house and has been elected to the 
chair by a majority of votes. When the speaker has been 
declared elected by the clerk of the house, he is conducted to 
the chair ; but before he acts further in that capacity, he is 
presented to the lieutenant-governor, and, having been ap 
proved by him, enters upon the duties of his office. In the 
early history of the assembly Lieu tenant-Governor Went- 
worth refused his approbation of Richard Peter Tonge, 
who had been elected as speaker, and the house was so com 
plaisant as to elect another differing in this respect from 
the conduct of the assembly of Lower Canada during Lord 
Dalhousie s administration, which persisted in re-electing 
Louis Joseph Papineau after his rejection by the governor, 
and proceeding with the business of the house without 
further ceremony. 

The speaker while in the chair conducts the business of 
the house and maintains decorum according to established 
rules of procedure, which do not differ materially from those 
governing the Dominion parliament. While in the chair he 
takes no part in any discussion ; nor does he vote except 
when the members present are equally divided, and then he 
may give a casting vote. 

Another important officer of the house of assembly is 
the clerk, who is appointed by the lieutenant-governor in 
council. He has the care and custody of all bills, journals 
and records originating in, and belonging to, the assembly. 
On the first day of the opening of a new assembly for the 
dispatch of business he must attend the house for the purpose 
of swearing in the members-elect. There is also an officer of 
the assembly called the sergeant-at-arms, whose general duty 


is to execute the orders of the house. He must prevent the 
ingress of strangers not having the permission of the house 
to enter the same, and must preserve order and decorum in 
the galleries and lobbies. 

By section 92 of the British North America Act the pro 
vincial legislatures are authorized exclusively to make laws in 
relation to matters coming within the following classes of 
subjects : 

1. The amendment of the constitution of the province, 

except as regards the office of lieutenant-governor. 

2. Direct taxation within the province for provincial 


3. Borrowing money on the sole credit of the province. 

4. The establishment and tenure of provincial offices 

and the appointment and payment of provincial 

5. The management and sale of the provincial public 

lands, and the timber and wood thereon. 

6. The establishment, maintenance and management 

of public and reformatory prisons in and for the 

7. The establishment, maintenance and management of 

hospitals, asylums, charities, and eleemosynary 
institutions in and for the province, other than 
marine hospitals. 

8. Municipal institutions in the province. 

9. Shop, saloon, tavern, auctioneer, and other licences 

in order to the raising of a revenue for provincial, 
local or municipal purposes. 

10. Local works and undertakings other than such as 
are of the following classes : 

(a) Lines of steam or other ships, railways, canals, 
telegraphs and other works and undertakings con 
necting the province with any other, or others, of 
the provinces, or extending beyond the limits of the 
province ; 

(b) Lines of steamships between the province and any 
British or foreign country ; 

(c) Such works as, although wholly situate within 
the province, are before or after their execution de 
clared by the parliament of Canada to be for the 
general advantage of Canada, or for the advantage 
of two or more of the provinces. 


11. The incorporation of companies with provincial 


12. The solemnization of marriage in the province. 

13. Property and civil rights in the province. 

14. The administration of justice in the province, in 

cluding the constitution, maintenance, and organ 
ization of provincial courts, both of civil and of 
criminal jurisdiction, and including procedure in 
civil matters in those courts. 

15. The imposition of punishment by fine, penalty, or 

imprisonment for enforcing any law of the pro 
vince made in relation to any matter coming 
within any of the classes of subjects above 

1 6. Generally all matters of a merely local or private 

nature in the province. 

It may not be out of place to observe here that upon a 
comparison of the above list of subjects declared to fall 
exclusively within the ambit of provincial legislation with 
the category of exclusively federal subjects contained in sec 
tion 91 of the act, one does not need the trained eye of the 
constitutional lawyer to discern at once an overlapping and 
a resultant conflict of legislative jurisdiction. Hence it is 
not surprising to find the courts constantly exercised over 
nice questions of constitutional interpretation. In the early 
days of the Supreme Court of Canada some of the judges 
addicted themselves to a general policy of federalism, sub 
ordinating provincial interests to those of the Dominion, 
presumably on the theory that to restrict the legislative 
sphere of its several units was the best possible way to assist 
the federal aggregate in achieving nationhood. This policy 
of construction was not adopted by the Judicial Committee 
of the Privy Council, that tribunal seeming to scent therein 
the danger of persistent encroachment upon provincial rights 
by the federal authority. What has been said has reference 
entirely to the earlier cases involving interpretation of the 
act, and they are not always in harmony with the more recent 
pronouncements of the supreme appellate authority. More 
over, these observations are confined to a general policy of 
interpretation. But as regards the particular question of 


supremacy in matters in respect of which the two legislative 
jurisdictions clearly overlap, the Judicial Committee in the 
case of the Grand Trunk Railway Company v. the Attorney- 
General of Canada ((1907) A. C. 65) distinctly formulated 
these two canons of construction : First, there can be a 
domain in which provincial and Dominion legislation may 
overlap, in which case neither legislation will be ultra vires, 
if the field is clear ; and, secondly, if the field is not clear, 
and in such a domain the two legislations meet, then the 
Dominion legislation must prevail. 

It is a truism that with a rigid constitution there is 
always room for diversity of interpretation. No country 
on earth has ever had the felicity of possessing a written 
constitution phrased with absolute clarity. It is a mistake 
to expect such until the millennium comes to pass. 


The administration of the public affairs of the province 
is conducted by means of the following departments : 

1. The department of the Attorney-General. 

2. The department of Crown Lands. 

3. The department of the Provincial Secretary. 

4. The department of the Provincial Treasurer. 

5. The department of Public Works and Mines. 

6. The department of Education. 

7. The department of Agriculture. 

The attorney-general is the law-officer of the crown within 
the province. He is the legal member of the executive council, 
and the official legal adviser of the lieutenant-governor and of 
the heads of the other departments. He sees that the admini 
stration of public affairs is in accordance with law, and has 
superintendence of all matters connected with the administra 
tion of justice in the province not within the jurisdiction of 
the Dominion government. All instruments issued under the 
great seal of the province are subject to his approval. He is 
also charged with the conduct of all litigation for and against 
the crown, or any public department, in respect to any subject 
within the authority or jurisdiction of the government of the 


province. The attorney-general presides over the depart 
ment of Crown Lands, his duties as commissioner of Crown 
Lands being set forth in the Crown Lands Consolidation Act, 
Cap. 4 of the Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1910. There is a 
deputy commissioner of Crown Lands, appointed by the 
lieutenant-governor in council. There is also an officer of the 
attorney-general s department called the deputy attorney- 
general, similarly appointed. Provision was likewise made 
by the statutes of 1911 for the appointment of an officer of 
the attorney-general s department to be known as the superin 
tendent of neglected and dependent children, a title sufficiently 
explanatory of such officer s duties. 

The provincial secretary is the keeper of the great seal 
of the province, and issues all letters patent, commissions and 
documents bearing the same. He has the conduct and custody 
of the government correspondence. He is also the keeper of 
all the archives, registers and records of the government and 
province that do not belong peculiarly to any other depart 
ment. As treasurer, the provincial secretary has the super 
vision and control of all matters relating to the financial affairs 
and public accounts of the province, its revenue and expendi 
ture, that are not specifically assigned to some other depart 
ment. There are a deputy provincial secretary and a cashier, 
appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council, to assist 
the provincial secretary in respect of the duties of his office. 
The deputy provincial secretary also acts as registrar of 
Joint Stock Companies. The secretary of Industries and 
Immigration is also an officer of the provincial secretary s 

The commissioner of Public Works and Mines has the 
superintendence and management of all buildings and property 
belonging to the provincial government. He is charged with 
oversight of the construction and maintenance of all public 
buildings, bridges, roads and other public works constructed 
or maintained at the expense of the province. All railways 
within the province built or operated in virtue of any pro 
vincial law are under his supervision. His duties in respect of 
mines are legion, as will appear by reference to the Mines Act 
(R. S., 1900, cap. 1 8). The commissioner of Public Works and 


Mines is also the king s printer for the province. In respect 
of this office he has the assistance of the deputy king s printer, 
appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council, in the pub 
lication and distribution of the Royal Gazette, the statutes 
of the province, and the journals of both houses of the legis 
lature. Another public official attached to the department 
of Public Works and Mines is the provincial engineer. Nor 
does this exhaust the list of officers connected with the depart 
ment. The deputy king s printer acts as secretary to the 
commissioner in respect of the duties imposed on him by the 
Public Charities Act. 

The department of Education is under the control of the 
Council of Public Instruction, which consists of the whole 
executive council, five of whom constitute a quorum for this 
purpose. The Council of Public Instruction has control of 
the expenditure of the money appropriated by the legislature 
for educational purposes, and generally has the regulation 
and control of educational matters within the province. It 
appoints the inspectors of schools, and fixes their salaries. 
It also appoints the principal and assistant teachers of the 
normal and model schools, and fixes their salaries. It estab 
lishes school districts, and appoints commissioners therein. 
It regulates the classification and licensing of teachers in the 
public schools. It makes regulations for constructing, locating 
and controlling county academies, and authorizes the pay 
ment of provincial grants to the same. It also prescribes 
text-books, courses of study and apparatus for all public 
schools. It may grant moneys in special aid of poor sections. 

The chief executive officer of the department of Education 
is appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council and is 
styled the superintendent of Education. This officer acts as 
secretary to the Council of Public Instruction. 

The department of Agriculture is presided over by the 
provincial secretary, but by chapter 3 of tha Nova Scotia 
Statutes of 1908, section I, it is declared that the lieutenant- 
governor in council shall administer the agricultural affairs 
of the province and legislative grants for the management of 
agriculture. Under section 2 of that act provision is made for 
the appointment of a secretary for Agriculture. This officer 


is appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council and per 
forms all such duties as are assigned to him by that authority. 
By section 4 of the act the lieutenant-governor in council 
may also appoint a superintendent of Agricultural Associa 
tions, whose chief duty is to take measures for the organiza 
tion of agricultural societies throughout the province, and 
for maintaining their efficiency. 


The executive and legislative branches of the provincial 
constitution having been examined, the next subject for our 
consideration is the judicial branch, operating through the 
superior and inferior courts of law and equity. But before 
proceeding to investigate the jurisdiction and procedure of 
these courts, it is important that we should have some idea of 
the system of law administered by them. 

In a place occupied by the King s troops/ said Lord 
Ellenborough, C.J., in Rex v. Inhabitants of Brampton 
(10 East. 288), the subjects of England would impliedly 
carry the laws of England with them. But this is a postulate 
that cannot be unreservedly accepted. It is more correct to 
say that English colonists carry only so much of the common 
and statute law of England with them as are applicable to 
social conditions in the colony, which differ, of necessity, 
from those prevailing at the time in the motherland. The 
latter opinion has been so long concurred in by judges and 
jurists in England and the colonies that it may now be re 
garded as an axiom. In his admirably considered judgment 
in Uniacke v. Dickson ((1848) 2 N. S. R. 287) Chief Justice 
Halliburton distinguishes between the common law proper 
(i.e. the unwritten law administered by the king s courts) 
and the statute law of England in so far as they are to be 
regarded as constituents of the jurisprudence administered 
by the courts of Nova Scotia. Down to his time, he says, in 
effect, the colonists had been disposed to adopt, as a code, 
the greater part of the former any exclusion of its rules being 
expressly made ; whilst as to the statute law only a limited 
portion of it could be said to be in force in the province 


certainly no more than what was obviously applicable and 
necessary. This, in his opinion, is the correct theory of 
the foundation of the provincial jurisprudence ; and the case 
of Uniacke v. Dickson has since been followed as an authority 
by the courts of Nova Scotia. Consequently, we find those 
courts deciding sometimes in favour of the applicability of 
imperial statutes and at other times negativing such applica 
bility. Thus, we have decisions to the effect that Magna 
Charta and certain charters of Henry in were operative 
within the province to prevent the crown from granting a 
general right of fishery ; also that certain statutes of Henry 
vin, requiring an inquest of office to be had before a new 
grant from the crown could be made of lands where a former 
grant had become void, applied ; item, as to the Statutes of 
Uses and the acts of Henry vin allowing partition between 
joint tenants and tenants in common. On the other hand, 
we see that imperial legislation (28 Edw. in, cap. 13) giving 
aliens the right to a jury de medietate linguae and (13 Geo. II, 
cap. 19) against gaming have been treated as having no force 
in the province. 

On the whole, it may be said that the policy of the Nova 
Scotia courts has inclined to the exclusion of imperial legis 
lation rather than in the direction of its applicability ; and 
a close examination of the decisions will disclose that such of 
the statutes of the motherland as have been held to be opera 
tive in the province are limited to those remedial of the rigidity 
of the common law and those in limitation of the prerogative, 
or correlative acts augmenting the liberty of the subject. It 
will, moreover, be observed that these courts, to a much greater 
extent than the courts of New Brunswick and of Ontario, 
have left the introduction of imperial statute law to the 
provincial legislature, no doubt being guided in this respect 
by Chief Justice Halliburton s observation in the Uniacke 
v. Dickson case that it is the province of the Courts to 
declare what is the law, and of the legislature to decide what 
it shall be. 

The system of jurisprudence administered by the courts 
of Nova Scotia is, therefore, composed of so much of the law 
of England existing at the time of the establishment of the 


provincial judicature as was consistent with colonial social 
conditions, together with the statutes passed by the provin 
cial legislature since the year 1758 and such imperial statutes 
thereafter passed as extend to the colony by express enact 
ment or necessary intendment. In addition to this body of 
law the provincial courts administer the criminal law as 
enacted by the Dominion parliament under the federal 
constitution, and such other matters of judicature as are 
validly assigned to them by that authority. In this way 
these courts have obtained jurisdiction to try Dominion 
controverted election petitions, and to hear and determine 
cases arising under the Canada Temperance Act. 

While it is true that the jurisprudence of the province is 
essentially English, it is important not to overlook the fact 
that the civil law of Rome has a greater share in its composi 
tion than it has in the system of law prevailing in the mother 
land. For instance, the Nova Scotia law of succession to 
intestate persons is modelled on the rules of the civil law as 
distinguished from those of the common law. It is not to 
our purpose to enlarge upon this subject, but we may say 
generally that of the seven cardinal rules of the English law 
of descent only one (referring to the perpetuity of representa 
tion of the ancestor by lineal descendants) harmonizes with 
the tenor of the provincial rules. In this respect Nova Scotia 
was guided by the example of Massachusetts and some other 
of the older colonies in America, to the framers of whose 
laws the English rule of primogeniture, and the feudal system 
of inheritance generally, were repugnant. 1 

During the first half-dozen years following upon the 
foundation of the city of Halifax, a general jurisdiction over 
criminal causes was exercised by the governor and council, 
sitting under the name of the General Court. The General 
Court also exercised an appellate jurisdiction in respect of 
civil suits begun in the County Court (afterwards the Inferior 
Court of Common Pleas), the earliest inferior tribunal set 
up in the province, its creation synchronizing with the 
foundation of Halifax. In the year 1754, however, a more 

1 Cf. Chief Justice Belcher s note to Chapter xi of the Acts of 1758, i St. at 
Large, by Uniacke, p. 12. 


regular system of judicature was initiated by the erection of 
a common law court of record, having general jurisdiction in 
matters civil and criminal, under the title of the Supreme 
Court. This was done under the authority of a commission 
from the governor, the court so established being clothed 
with the jurisdiction then exercised by the three superior 
courts of common law in England, namely, the King s Bench, 
the Common Pleas and the Exchequer. 

As has been above pointed out, chancery jurisdiction in the 
early days of the colony was vested in the lieutenant-governor, 
being passed on later to the master of the rolls. 

The Supreme Court, as originally constituted, consisted 
of a chief justice, appointed by the king, and four other 
members (three assistant judges and one associate judge) 
appointed by the lieutenant-governor. The Hon. Jonathan 
Belcher was the first chief justice of the court. The chief 
justice s salary was for a long time paid out of the grant to 
the colony annually provided for in the imperial budget, 
while the assistant and associate judges were paid out of the 
provincial treasury. In addition to their fixed salaries the 
judges were allowed to take certain fees, a practice highly 
objectionable from the standpoint of the independence of the 
judiciary, but not abolished until Joseph Howe s besom of 
reform had swept clean the house of officialdom. 

The bench of the Supreme Court consists of a chief 
justice and six other judges. No person may be appointed 
a judge of this court unless he has been a resident bar 
rister of the province for ten years and has been practising 
as such for five years before his appointment, or has held 
office as a county court judge in the province. The judges 
of the Supreme Court can hold no other offices under govern 
ment except those of local judge in admiralty of the Exchequer 
Court and the judge ordinary of the Court for Divorce and 
Matrimonial Causes. The chief executive or ministerial offi 
cers of the court are the prothonotary, or clerk of the court, 
and the sheriff. There is also a taxing master at Halifax, 
appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council, whose duty 
is to tax bills of cost in Supreme Court cases and in cases 
arising in the Halifax county court. 


The Supreme Court exercises both original and appellate 
jurisdiction in matters civil and criminal within the province. 
It is clothed with the same powers within the province as were 
formerly exercised by the Courts of King s Bench, Common 
Pleas and Chancery in England, and also such powers as 
were, on October I, 1884, exercised in England by the Court 
of Appeal and by the High Court of Justice, except those 
appertaining to the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division. 
Under the Statutes of Canada the Supreme Court has juris 
diction, both original and appellate, in the trial of Dominion 
election petitions. Similar jurisdiction is vested in the court 
by the provincial statutes as regards elections for the house 
of assembly. The general procedure and practice of the 
court are modelled upon those prevailing in England under the 
Judicature Acts, but in criminal cases the procedure enact 
ments of the Criminal Code of Canada are, of course, followed. 
There are two regular civil sittings of the court for the trial 
of causes at Halifax in each year, one commencing on the 
third Tuesday of April and the other on the fourth Tuesday 
of October. There are also two criminal sittings there, 
beginning respectively on the third Tuesday of March and 
on the first Tuesday of October. Such sittings are attended 
by the grand jury and by all other persons whose duty it is 
to attend. 

Besides the sittings at Halifax there are spring and 
autumn sittings of the court in every county during the year. 
For this purpose the province is divided into five circuits. 
Legal and equitable issues in civil causes are tried by the 
judges on circuit and are heard, with or without a jury, in the 
same way as the Halifax sittings. Special civil sittings of 
the court, presided over by a single judge, may be held at 
Halifax ; and a midsummer circuit may be held in any of the 
circuits where the causes on the docket at the spring circuit 
have not been disposed of. 

Criminal causes are heard on circuit by the presiding judge 
with a petit jury of twelve. The grand jury must first find a 
true bill before a person is arraigned and his trial proceeded 
with. It is worthy of note here that by the provincial law 
the panel of grand jurors is twelve, and by the Criminal Code 


of Canada, where the panel in any province is not more than 
thirteen, seven of the panel will suffice to find a true bill. 

For the hearing of appeals from the judgments of the trial 
judges at Halifax and on circuit, from the Probate Court, the 
Divorce Court, and the County Court, the Supreme Court 
sits at Halifax. The Appeal Court is composed of all the 
judges of the Supreme Court, but four constitute a quorum. 
The sittings in appeal begin on the second Tuesday in Novem 
ber and last until the Saturday before the third Tuesday in 
April, with a fortnight s vacation at Christmas and an inter 
mission of about ten days in March. An additional session is 
held in July, if necessary, to hear cases not disposed of at the 
regular sittings. 

As we have seen, equity jurisdiction within the province 
was administered in the early days of its history by the Court 
of Chancery, presided over by the governor under his royal 
commission and instructions. After the appointment of a 
master of the rolls in 1826 equity business came to be largely 
administered by him. The practice prevailing in the English 
Court of Chancery was adopted so far as applicable, and the 
machinery of the court perfected by the appointment of a 
registrar and masters to whom references were made in matters 
of account. The chancellor sat only on a day appointed for 
the hearing of a cause or matter at the instance of one of the 
parties. The master of the rolls held weekly courts. The 
subjects of exclusive equity jurisdiction within the province 
were practically coextensive with those of the Court of 
Chancery in England and the court was from the first viewed 
with disfavour by reason of the great expense attending its 
proceedings. It was argued that there was no justification 
for perpetuating in a colony a system that had proved itself 
burdensome and inconvenient in the mother country. To 
maintain two repugnant judicial systems for administering 
justice was held to be absurd, and it was claimed that the 
rules of equity should be treated as forming part of the same 
code with the rules of law, and be dispensed in every case. 
Hence it does not occasion surprise to find the office of master 
of the rolls abolished in 1855, and equity jurisdiction trans 
ferred to the Supreme Court. Thus, Nova Scotia forestalled 


the mother country by some eighteen years in the fusion of 
equity and common law jurisdictions. 

The Supreme Court of Canada exercises an appellate 
jurisdiction over the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Appeals 
may be taken in certain cases from the judgment of the 
Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to His Majesty s Privy Council 
in England. 

A Court of Marriage and Divorce always existed in the 
province. It began with the governor and council, who 
possessed all the authority then exercised in England by the 
ecclesiastical courts in matrimonial causes, and had even 
wider powers under provincial statutes. The court so con 
stituted entertained suits for the jactitation of marriage, for 
the restitution of conjugal rights, for divorce, and for ali 
mony. The provincial act of 1758 permitted a decree against 
a husband for divorce for wilful desertion and non-support. 
This was repugnant to the law of England, and was repealed 
in 1761. In 1841 the provincial legislature passed an act 
declaring that inasmuch as the arduous affairs of govern 
ment may render it inconvenient for the lieutenant-governor 
to preside in the Court of Marriage and Divorce, it should 
be lawful for him by warrant under his hand and seal to 
appoint the chief justice, the master of the rolls, or any one 
of the justices of the Supreme Court, to be vice-president of 
the court, to sit as a member of the court with the lieutenant- 
governor, and to preside therein in the place of the lieutenant- 
governor when necessary. The constitution of the court 
remained otherwise as it was. In 1866 (by 29 Viet., cap. 13) 
the whole constitution of the court was amended. The style 
of the court was changed to the Court for Divorce and 
Matrimonial Causes/ and the then vice-president was declared 
to compose the court, and was empowered to exercise the 
powers thereof under the title of Judge Ordinary of the Court 
for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes. It was further enacted 
that when a vacancy should occur in the office of judge, the 
judge in equity for the time being should be the judge ordinary 
of the court. The court was declared to have jurisdiction 
over all matters relating to prohibited marriages and divorces ; 
and might declare any marriage null and void for impotence, 


adultery, cruelty, or kindred within the degrees prohibited in 
an act made in the thirty-second year of King Henry vm 
entitled an Act concerning Pre-Contracts and touching 
degrees of Consanguinity. Furthermore, it was declared 
that whenever a sentence of divorce should be given, the 
court might pronounce such determination as it should think 
fit on the rights of the parties, or either of them, to curtesy 
or dower. Since Confederation the parliament of Canada 
has not exercised its legislative jurisdiction over the subjects 
of marriage and divorce so far as this court is concerned. 

The present system of county courts was adopted in the 
province in 1874. There was a court of this name erected in 
Halifax by Governor Cornwallis in 1749 to relieve the Supreme 
Court of minor business ; but as it was found necessary to 
have similar courts in the outlying settled districts to dispose 
of cases between the dates of the circuit sittings of the 
Supreme Court in such places, in the year 1752 a general 
system of courts was established for the province as a whole 
under the name of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas. 
This court had concurrent jurisdiction in civil cases with the 
Supreme Court. As members of the bar were few outside of 
Halifax, the bench of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas 
had to be composed largely of laymen. Cases in these courts 
were liable to be removed into the Supreme Court by certiorari\ 
and to prevent conflict of jurisdictions a provincial act of 
1795 provided that writs of mesne process issuing from any 
inferior court should only be directed to the sheriff of the 
county or district where such court had jurisdiction, and that 
no person should be sued in such court unless actually resident 
within the county or district. Shortly after the re-annexation 
of the Island of Cape Breton to the province an act of the 
provincial legislature (1823) was passed providing for the 
appointment of a barrister of five years standing as chief 
justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for the county 
of Cape Breton then comprising the whole island. The 
Inferior Court of Common Pleas was abolished in 1841 by 
chapter 3 of the provincial statutes of that year, as the court 
was exercising concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court 
and had outlived its usefulness. 


As above stated, the present county court system was 
established in the year 1874. For the purposes of this system, 
by legislation passed in that and subsequent years, the pro 
vince is divided into seven districts, and a court of law and of 
record, to be known as the county court, erected in each. The 
law regulating the county courts will now be found in chapter 
156 of the Revised Statutes of 1900, with some amendments 
passed in the years 1901, 1904 and 1907. There is one judge 
for each court, who must be a barrister of the Supreme 
Court of the province of not less than seven years standing. 
He cannot practise his profession while he is a judge. He 
holds office during good behaviour, and must reside in his 
district. Regular sittings of the courts are fixed under the 
statutes. The chief executive officers of the county court 
are the clerk, who issues the process of the court and keeps its 
records, and the sheriffs throughout the province, who execute 
its process. The county court may not take cognizance of 
any action : (a) where the title to land is brought in question ; 
(6) in which the validity of any devise, bequest or limitation 
is disputed ; (c) for criminal conversation or seduction ; or 
(d) for breach of promise of marriage. But these limitations 
are subject to the right of parties to consent to an action 
brought in the Supreme Court being transferred to the county 
court, jurisdiction in that court emerging from such consent 
even if it were otherwise lacking. Subject to the above 
exceptions, and the further exception of cases of debt, or 
liquidated demand in money, under twenty dollars, the county 
court has original jurisdiction in all personal actions in con 
tract or tort, where the debt or damages claimed do not exceed 
four hundred dollars ; in all actions on bail bonds to the 
sheriff given in any case in a county court, irrespective of the 
amount of the penalty sought to be recovered ; in all actions 
against a sheriff, or officer of a county court, for any non- 
feasance or malfeasance in connection with any matter in 
the court ; and in all actions of replevin where the value of 
the goods claimed does not exceed four hundred dollars. 
Every judge of the court within his district has the same 
jurisdiction as the Supreme Court, under the Liberty of the 
Subject Act, in respect of persons imprisoned under civil 


process issued out of justices courts or out of any county 

The practice and procedure of the county court in civil 
cases are practically the same as those prevailing in the 
Supreme Court. An appeal lies from the judgment or order 
of any county court, or a judge thereof, made in court or in 
chambers, except in the exercise of a discretion conferred by 
law, to the Supreme Court of the province sitting in banco. 
An appeal lies to the county court, sitting in the county in 
which the matter appealed from was originally tried or deter 
mined, from all judgments and convictions of justices of the 
peace, stipendiary magistrates, and of city and municipal 

In 1889 the provincial legislature constituted the judge 
of every county court a court of record for the trial of any 
person committed to gaol, on a charge for which the person 
consents to be tried without a jury. The court so constituted 
is called The County Court Judge s Criminal Court of the 
district where it is held, and exercises the powers and duties 
that part Liv of the Criminal Code purports to confer or 
require, so far as the legislature of the province can confer 
or require the same. 

The Probate Court, established very early in the history 
of the province, has jurisdiction to grant probate of wills and 
letters of administration of estates of deceased persons ; to 
revoke or cancel the same ; to appoint guardians to minors ; 
and to pass the accounts of executors, administrators and 
guardians. An appeal lies to the Supreme Court from all 
decrees or orders of the Probate Court. 

In 1897 an act was passed by the provincial legislature 
providing that when any vacancy should thereafter occur in 
the office of judge of Probate, such office should not be filled, 
but should be abolished, and the duties of the office thereafter 
be discharged by the judge of the county court for the district. 
The registrar of the court has duties both of a judicial and 
ministerial character. 

Two other courts remaining to be noticed are the municipal 
courts and the justices courts. The municipal courts were 
created by the provincial legislature in 1895, an d exist in every 



incorporated town. The municipal court is presided over by 
the stipendiary magistrate, or his deputy, or by the mayor, 
or by a town councillor appointed by the stipendiary magis 
trate where there is no deputy stipendiary magistrate. The 
town clerk acts as clerk of the court. The process is served 
and executed by constables or police-officers. The court has 
jurisdiction in civil actions upon contract in which the 
amount sought to be recovered does not exceed eighty dollars. 
It also has jurisdiction in all actions brought by the town 
for the recovery of rates and taxes of whatever amount. 
Appeal lies from its judgments to the county court for the 
county where the action in which the judgment appealed from 
was tried. 

Besides the jurisdiction conferred upon justices of the 
peace and stipendiary magistrates by the Criminal Code of 
Canada and the Nova Scotia Summary Convictions Act, 
civil jurisdiction is conferred upon such justices and magis 
trates by the provincial law in actions for debt as follows : 
Where the whole dealing or cause of action does not exceed 
twenty dollars, one justice for the county where the defend 
ant resides has jurisdiction to try the same ; where the whole 
dealing or cause of action is more than twenty dollars, but 
does not exceed eighty dollars, two justices for the county 
where the defendant resides have jurisdiction. Every stipen 
diary magistrate has within his jurisdiction all the powers 
and jurisdiction conferred by law on one or two justices in 
civil cases as above set forth. 

Justices of the peace and stipendiary magistrates have 
also the power, in cases of debt where the amount claimed is 
not less than four dollars or more than eighty dollars, to issue 
a writ of capias against a defendant about to leave the county. 

It is proper to mention here that the provincial legislature 
has given to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Exchequer 
Court of Canada jurisdiction in controversies between the 
Dominion of Canada and the province, and in controversies 
between the province and any other province of the Dominion 
that has passed an act similar to the act of the Nova Scotia 
legislature conferring such jurisdiction upon the federal courts. 
In any action in which the parties have raised by their plead- 


ings the question of the validity of an act of the parliament of 
Canada, or an act of the legislature of Nova Scotia, and the 
question, in the opinion of the judge of the court where such 
action is pending, is material, such judge may order the case 
to be removed to the Supreme Court of Canada for its decision 
on the question. Similar legislation has been passed in New 
Brunswick. 1 


By the British North America Act, 1867, all lands, mines, 
minerals and royalties belonging to the several provinces of 
Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at the Union were 
declared to belong to the several provinces of Ontario, Quebec, 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in which the same are situate 
or arise, subject to any trusts existing in respect thereof, and 
to any interest other than that of the province in the same. 
Moneys arising from these, together with the annual subsidies 
granted to the provinces by the Dominion, and the moneys 
arising from succession duties, the sale of marriage licences, 
and the payment of fees by joint stock companies incorpor 
ated under provincial law, constitute the chief sources of the 
provincial revenue. The crown lands are sold at fifty cents 
per acre, but no grant may issue for a less sum than twenty 
dollars. Persons who have been in occupation of not less 
than three acres for a period of five years, and have improved 
the same, may obtain a grant at the rate of twenty cents per 
acre. Timber leases are issued in respect of the crown lands, 
for a term not exceeding twenty years, at the price of forty 
cents per acre. 

In respect of royalties from mines, the government exacts 
a royalty of twenty per cent on the gross value of gold and 
silver ores mined ; ten cents on every long ton of coal sold 
from the mine or used in the manufacture of coke ; four 
cents on every unit of copper in every ton of copper ore sold 
or smelted ; two cents on every unit of lead in every ton of 
lead ore sold or smelted ; five cents on every ton of iron 
ore sold or smelted ; and five per cent on the value of tin, 

1 See Cons. St. N.B., 1903, cap. no. 


precious stones, and other minerals reserved to the crown. 
In the year 1910 the mineral production of Nova Scotia was 
approximately valued at $12,504,810. 

With respect to the annual subsidies granted by the par 
liament of Canada to the province, it may be said that during 
the debates on the scheme of Confederation at the Quebec 
Convention in 1864 the question of the revenues of the pro 
vinces was most fruitful of difficulty. In Nova Scotia, and 
the same was true of New Brunswick and Prince Edward 
Island, there was no regular system of municipal government 
such as that then existing in Ontario, but local government 
expenditures were met by annual grants from the legislature 
of the province. 

It was felt that with the large revenues theretofore derived 
by the provincial treasury from customs and excise and the 
post office matters to be transferred to the federal govern 
ment the province would have to depend wholly upon direct 
taxation for the purpose of raising a revenue, and the dele 
gates to the convention were not satisfied as to the success 
of such a policy. The difficulty was eventually solved by 
an arrangement whereby the federal authority should grant 
annual subsidies to each of the provinces for the support 
of their governments and legislatures. Nova Scotia by this 
arrangement was to receive $60,000 per annum with an 
additional annual grant equal to eighty cents per head of the 
population, as ascertained by the census of 1861 and by each 
subsequent decennial census, until the population of the 
province should amount to four hundred thousand. This 
arrangement was incorporated in the British North America 
Act, 1867, but by the Better Terms arrangement between 
the Dominion and Nova Scotia in 1869 the province obtained 
the right to receive from the Dominion the sum of $82,698 
per annum for a period of ten years from July I, 1867, in 
addition to all other sums payable to the province by the 
Dominion under the British North America Act. Further 
statutory adjustments of this subsidy have since been made. 
By the report of the auditor-general of Canada it appears 
that the province received in this way a sum of $610,460 for 
the fiscal year 1910-11. 


By the Succession Duty Act there is a duty of $2.50 for 
every $100 of value on all property situate within the province 
(except property less than $5000 in value after payment of 
debts and administrative expenses, and property passing by 
will or intestacy to near relations of deceased not exceeding 
$25,000 in value after debts and expenses are paid) transferred 
in contemplation of death of the vendor or donor, or trans 
ferred under instrument not effective until after such death, 
and joint property passing by survivorship, that, after pay 
ment of debts and expenses, exceeds $25,000 in value. If 
the value thereof exceeds $100,000, the whole property passing 
is subject to a duty of $5 for every $100 of value. When the 
value of the property bequeathed, after debts and expenses are 
paid, exceeds $5000, so much as passes to any lineal ancestors, 
except father and mother of the deceased, or to certain other 
persons in consanguinity with deceased as mentioned in the 
act, is subject to a duty of $5 for every $100 of value. When 
the value exceeds $5000, and the property passes to strangers, 
it is subject to a duty of $10 for every $100 of value. These 
duties are payable to the provincial treasurer within eighteen 
months after the death of the deceased. 

On every marriage licence issued under the hand and seal 
of the lieutenant-governor a fee of four dollars is payable. 
This amount, less the sum of fifty cents payable to the deputy 
issuer of marriage licences, and a further sum of twenty-five 
cents payable to the clergyman returning the marriage 
register, is remitted to the provincial treasurer by the deputy 
issuing the licence. 

The fees payable to the registrar of joint stock companies 
on registration of such companies vary, according to the 
amount of capital, from $20 to $70. They also pay an annual 
fee fixed upon a similar scale. Companies not having a 
capital divided into shares pay a registration fee of $10 where 
the number of members does not exceed twenty, $25 where 
such number exceeds twenty but is less than one hundred, 
and $100 where the number of members is stated in the 
articles of association to be unlimited. 

By provincial legislation it is declared that all revenue over 
which the legislature has the power of appropriation, except 


special funds set apart by law for special purposes, shall form 
one consolidated revenue fund, to be appropriated for the 
public service of the province. The expenses incident to 
the collection and management of the revenue are payable 
out of the provincial treasury and constitute a permanent 
charge upon the treasury funds. All provincial loans and 
other debts, and the interest thereon, together with the sink 
ing funds established for their extinction, are also a charge 
upon the moneys and funds of the provincial treasury. 

In the year 1910 the total revenue of the province was 
$1,592,363.24 and the expenditure $1,725,914. 

Every payment of public money must be authorized by 
warrant of the lieutenant-governor, represented in that be 
half by the provincial secretary, or his deputy, directed to 
the cashier, and be made by cheque upon a bank, signed by 
the cashier and countersigned by the provincial secretary or 
his deputy. 


Municipal institutions in the province of Nova Scotia 
had their origin in the grand jury and the quarter sessions of 
the peace. 

Local self-government was not obtained even by the 
capital city until nearly a century after its foundation, the 
intervening period being referred to by one of the provincial 
historians as involving a most pernicious and long-continued 
system of misrule. Although we find so far back as 1790 
a resolution of the assembly to the effect that an address 
should be presented to the lieutenant-governor requesting 
him to grant a charter to the town of Halifax for incorporat 
ing the same, and enabling the inhabitants thereof to make 
such by-laws as shall be sufficient to regulate the police of the 
town, yet incorporation was not secured until 1841, and then 
it came by means of an act of the legislature. 

Soon after the arrival of Governor Cornwallis in the 
colony, he proceeded to issue commissions of the peace to 
influential persons among the settlers ; and by the year 1765 
commissions of the peace were general throughout the settled 


portions of the province. In that year the legislature passed 
an act to reform the then existing method of appointing town 
officers. In the preamble it is stated that the method of 
nominating the respective town officers hereinafter mentioned 
by the grand jurors for the several counties, as directed by 
the laws of this province, is found inconvenient. The act 
then proceeds to limit the nomination of the following officers, 
namely, township surveyors, overseers of the poor, town 
clerks, constables, highway surveyors, fence viewers, market 
clerks, cullers and surveyors of fish, surveyors of lumber, 
sealers of leather, gaugers, and hogreaves, to the grand juries 
of the several counties, and to confer on the Court of General 
Sessions of the Peace in such counties the power of appoint 
ing the officers mentioned. 

Interspersed throughout the provincial statutes down to 
the last quarter of the nineteenth century will be found 
enactments for carrying on the business of local finance and 
police in the counties and towns through the clumsy machinery 
of the grand jury and sessions. It was not until the year 1879 
that the government took measures for a radical reform of 
municipal affairs in the province. Then a County Incorpora 
tion Act was passed, which provided for the government of 
counties by wardens and councillors. Councillors were to be 
elected by the people, and the wardens chosen by the coun 
cillors. By-laws regulating local finance and police were 
authorized to be made by the county council, and it also had 
the power to appoint all officers necessary to the successful 
working of the new order of municipal government. 

Although certain of the larger towns had secured incorpor 
ation by special legislation before the year 1888, it was not until 
then that a general Towns Incorporation Act was passed, 
enabling the ratepayers of any town, by means of an election 
at the polls, to bring such town under the provisions of the act 
for the purposes of incorporation. Local government there 
under was to be carried on by means of a mayor and council. 
The present law governing the incorporation of counties, 
or municipalities, as they are called, will be found in chapter 
70 of the last Revised Statutes of the province. The law 
relating to town incorporation is embodied in chapter 71 


of the Revised Statutes. This was extensively amended in 
1910 by chapter 26 of the statutes of that year. In the 
provisions of these statutes, which apply to all incorporated 
towns (unless it is otherwise provided in an act relating especi 
ally to such town), will be found an excellent system of 
finance and police, with popular control secured by means 
of the ballot based upon a franchise regulated by the pro 
vincial Franchise Act. Under the provisions of that act 
women are entitled to be registered on the voters list for the 
election of mayors, and municipal and town councillors, pro 
vided they are twenty-one years of age, are British subjects, 
are assessed in respect of real property of the value of $150, 
or in respect of personal property or real and personal property 
together of the value of $300. There is, however, a fly in the 
ointment of woman suffrage, inasmuch as no woman can vote 
at such elections whose husband is entitled to vote thereat. 

In every incorporated town there is a court of law and of 
record called the municipal court. The constitution of this 
court will be found described in our observations upon the 
judicial system of the province. 

A 1 



T the present time government in the province of New 
Brunswick is administered by means of the following 
machinery : 

1. A lieutenant-governor, appointed by the governor- 

general in council under the provisions of the 
British North America Act. 

2. An executive council responsible to the represen 

tatives of the people in the provincial legislature. 

3. A legislature, consisting of a single house, called the 

Legislative Assembly, whose members are elected 
by the people. 

4. Certain public departments of government. 


5. A judiciary, consisting of the courts of superior and 

inferior jurisdiction within the province. 

6. Municipal institutions. 

1. The Lieutenant-Governor. With reference to the powers 
and status of the lieutenant-governor, it answers our purpose 
sufficiently to say that they are coextensive with those apper 
taining to the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, which 
have been fully discussed above. 

2. The Executive Council. As it exists to-day, the execu 
tive council is the provincial cabinet ; and its nature is 
best understood by Bagehot s definition of its English proto 
type : By that new word we mean a committee of the 
legislative body selected to be the executive body. The 
legislature has many committees, but this is its greatest. 
This executive council consists of persons appointed thereto 
by the lieutenant-governor ; amongst them must be included 
the persons holding the following offices during pleasure : 
provincial secretary, attorney-general, surveyor-general, chief 
commissioner of Public Works, commissioner for Agricul 
ture, solicitor-general. There are now eight members of the 
executive council. 

By the provincial law any head of a public department of 
government may be appointed acting head of another depart 
ment during the absence or illness of the regular head. Dur 
ing the illness or absence of the attorney-general, the solicitor- 
general or any member of the executive council may, under 
the authority of an order of the lieutenant-governor in council, 
as acting attorney-general, make all fiats, certificates and orders 
that by law the attorney-general is authorized or required to 

The heads of the public departments are paid fixed 
salaries. When they are away from home on the business of 
the government they are allowed their travelling expenses. 
In addition to their travelling expenses members of the 
executive council who are not heads of departments receive 
a per diem allowance while they are absent from home on 
government business. 


The executive council was separated from the legislative 
council in the year 1833, but did not take upon itself the 
semblance of a cabinet until 1848, a matter that will be more 
fully referred to in our description of the legislature of the 

3. The Legislature. Representative government was ob 
tained by Nova Scotia while New Brunswick was a portion 
of the older colony. 

During the year 1783 the loyalists from the United States 
had arrived in considerable numbers at St John (then Parr- 
town) , and it was chiefly at their instigation that the imperial 
authorities determined to sever the territory now known as 
New Brunswick from Nova Scotia and erect it into a new 
province. A royal commission was issued on August 16, 
1784, to Thomas Carleton, a brother of Lord Dorchester, 
empowering him, by and with the consent of his council, to 
carry into effect the project of forming the new province. 
His instructions as to setting up a constitution for the pro 
vince were almost identical with those given to Governor 
Cornwallis of Nova Scotia in the year 1749. The first 
meeting of Carleton s council was held at Parrtown in 
November 1784. In the following year regulations were 
published for the establishment of law and order in the pro 
vince. In October of the same year writs were issued to 
the sheriffs of the several counties organized within the 
province for the election of members to a general assembly. 
The first session of the legislature, consisting of an executive 
council and a house of assembly, was convened in St John 
on January 9, 1786. 

At the outset of their struggle for responsible government 
the public men of Nova Scotia had little assistance from the 
political leaders of the neighbouring province. As an illus 
tration of this, we find some stiff criticism of the policy of the 
Nova Scotian reformers in a set of resolutions passed by the 
assembly of New Brunswick in 1837 calling the attention of 
the king to the grievances that province was labouring under 
at the hands of the lieutenant-governor and his council. 
Although the members of the assembly assert that the 


executive council should be composed of persons possessing 
the confidence of the country at large, and that the cordial 
sympathy and co-operation of that body are absolutely in 
dispensable to the existence of any system of administration, 
they desire it to be understood that they would repudiate 
the claim set up by another colony that the executive council 
ought at all times to be subject to removal on address for that 
purpose from the popular branch of the government. Com 
menting on this, William Annand, in his Speeches and Public 
Letters of Joseph Howe (vol. i. p. 143), says : They were 
content to ask for and accept such modifications and changes 
as might meet the requirements of the hour, but did not 
perceive that without the establishment of modes of redress 
and reformation applicable to all times to come, there was no 
security for the wise administration of public affairs. How 
ever, the constitutional history of the province shows that a 
sounder and more intrepid stand for popular rights than that 
appearing upon the face of the resolutions above mentioned 
was made in the assembly by Lemuel A. Wilmot and Charles 

It is important to remember that the separation of the 
executive and legislative councils took place in New Brunswick 
so early as 1833 five years before a like reform was accom 
plished in Nova Scotia. But although the executive council 
was thus given a distinctive place in the constitution, it was 
not made amenable to the control of the popular branch of 
the legislature. Wilmot was elected to the legislature in 
1835, being then only in his twenty-sixth year. Early in 
the session of that year the lieutenant-governor, Sir Archi 
bald Campbell, informed the house that the imperial au 
thorities had decided to resume the collection of the quit- 
rents. Wilmot addressed the house with remarkable ability 
in opposition to this reactionary measure. Before the close 
of the session a deadlock occurred between the two chambers 
of the legislature, due to a resolution of the assembly for the 
payment of its members not including any indemnity for 
the members of the legislative council. The council refused 
concurrence on the ground that the imperial government 
had recommended that indemnity for their attendance and 


services should be allowed to its members similar to that 
allowed to the members of the lower house. The house of 
assembly thereupon attempted to conciliate the council by 
including pay for its members in the general Appropriation 
Bill. But the council was wroth over the first slight, and 
rejected the bill, thus not only holding up the pay of the 
members of the assembly, but leaving the province without 
means to defray the public expenses. Public opinion waxed 
high against the council, and the lieutenant-governor con 
vened a special session of the legislature to restore harmony 
between its two branches. As a result, the members of the 
legislative council receded from their claim to indemnity ; 
but the people, aroused to a sense of misgovernment, demanded 
redress in a radical way. L. A. Wilmot and William Crane 
were sent as a delegation to London to lay the people s 
grievances before the colonial office. They were well received, 
and obtained the consent of the home authorities to a scheme 
whereby the casual and territorial revenues, amounting to 
; 1 50,000 sterling, were to be transferred to the province in 
return for an annual civil list, to be provided by the legisla 
ture, of 14,500 currency, for the payment of certain official 
salaries, including that of the lieutenant-governor at 3500, 
and that of the chief justice at 950. 

This arrangement gave dire offence to Sir Archibald 
Campbell, the lieutenant-governor at the time, and he set 
his back against the door of the treasury, the key of which 
was now in the custody of the people. Wilmot and Crane 
were then sent to England a second time, and Sir Archibald 
Campbell resigned. Sir John Harvey, a man whose breadth 
of view and sagacity well fitted him for the post at the time, 
succeeded Campbell. In the year 1838 a civil list bill passed 
the legislature and received the royal assent, and the people 
obtained control of the revenues theretofore held tight in the 
grasp of the provincial executive. Here, again, the Province 
of New Brunswick outstripped the older Province of Nova 
Scotia in the race for the ultimate criteria of responsible 
government, as the latter did not obtain a similar concession 
until 1848. Still, it was not until the British parliament 
granted the colonies the control of their postal systems and 


revenues (1849) and the right to regulate their customs 
duties (1857) that it could be said that responsible govern 
ment was absolutely entrenched in any of the Maritime 

In the attainment of the full measure of responsible 
government for New Brunswick, Lemuel A. Wilmot and his 
colleague, Charles Fisher, played a very conspicuous part. 
But they had a much easier task than had Joseph Howe in 
the neighbouring province. It is no disparagement of these 
two able men to say that neither of them was the peer of 
Howe as a reformer. They were politicians, responsive to the 
splendid spur of patriotism, who achieved much for their 
country in a time of constitutional stress ; but, lacking his 
extraordinary mental powers, they had not the temperament 
that swept Howe on to that stage of consecration to public 
endeavour where patriotism becomes a religion and its devotee 
a statesman. 

At the time of Confederation, New Brunswick, in common 
with the other Atlantic provinces, possessed a bicameral 
legislature. The legislative council was, however, abolished 
in New Brunswick in 1892. This was effected by a policy 
of self-destruction, namely, by allowing membership in the 
council to diminish by death or retirement, until it became 
possible for a majority of newly appointed members, pledged 
ta the project, to vote the body out of existence. 

Election to the legislative assembly is regulated by chap 
ter 3 of the Consolidated Statutes of New Brunswick, 1903, 
and amendments. The term of the provincial parliament 
is for five years and two months from the date of the issue 
of writs for the general election. It may, however, be 
dissolved at any time by the lieutenant-governor. If the 
legislature is in session at the time of its dissolution by the 
lieutenant-governor, it continues until prorogued by him and 
for forty days thereafter. 

Candidates for election to the legislative assembly do not 
require other qualification than that of being male British 
subjects, by birth or naturalization, of the age of twenty- 
one years. Clergymen of all denominations are disqualified 
for election. Members of the Canadian Senate and privy 


councillors of Canada who are members of the House of 
Commons are also ineligible. Acceptance of a nomination 
as a candidate for a seat in the House of Commons will vacate 
the seat of a member of the legislative assembly. The holders 
of certain provincial offices are also disqualified, and so are 
persons holding any office, commission or appointment in the 
Dominion government service, with a salary or emoluments 
directly or indirectly attached thereto. Public contractors 
and their sureties are also ineligible for election to the legis 
lative assembly. 

The provincial franchise is extended to every male British 
subject of twenty-one years of age whose name is on the 
voters list, provided he has been a resident of the province 
for twelve calendar months next preceding the first day of 
May of the year in which the voters list is made up, and was 
at the time such list was made up a bona fide resident of, and 
domiciled in, the electoral district on the list of which he is 
registered. At the time of tendering his vote he must also 
be a resident of, and be domiciled in, such district. To be 
entitled to registration on the voters list a person must : 
(a) hold in his own right real estate to the value of $100, or 
personal property, or real and personal together, of the value 
of $400 ; or (b) be assessed upon income to the amount of 
$400 ; or (c) be a priest or other Christian minister or 
teacher in charge of a congregation in the electoral district ; 
or (d) be a licensed teacher or professor employed or teaching 
in any school or college within the electoral district. Male 
British subjects of twenty-one years of age, resident and 
domiciled in any of the electoral districts in the province for 
twelve calendar months next preceding the first day of May 
of the year in which the voters list is made up, are entitled 
to be registered on the list for such district, on a manhood 
suffrage basis. Male students of twenty-one years of age 
attending a school or university in any electoral district 
may be registered on the voters list for such district, 
unless they have another place of residence where they are 
entitled to vote. Judges of the Supreme Court of the pro 
vince are disfranchised ; and sheriffs in elections held in 
the counties in which they hold office are not permitted to 


vote except in the case of a tie, when they have the privilege 
of a casting vote. 

Except in cases specially provided for by provincial 
statutes, the privileges, immunities and powers of the legis 
lative assembly are the same as those enjoyed by the House 
of Commons of Canada. The officers of the legislative 
assembly consist of a speaker, a clerk, a clerk assistant, a 
chaplain and a sergeant-at-arms. In the absence of the 
speaker the chairman of the Committee of Supply acts as 
deputy speaker. 

The legislative assembly consists of forty-six members. 

The provincial legislature has exclusive jurisdiction over 
the classes of subjects set forth in section 92 of the British 
North America Act, 1867. These were enumerated above 
in dealing with the powers of the Nova Scotia legislature. 

4. The Public Departments of Government. The public 
departments of the provincial government comprise : 
(a) The department of the Provincial Secretary. 
(d) The Board of Public Works. 

(c) The department of Agriculture. 

(d) The Board of Education. 

(e) The department of the Surveyor-General. 

The provincial secretary, besides discharging the duties 
of his office as such, is also charged with the duties of receiver- 
general of the province. As receiver-general there are paid 
to him all public moneys belonging to the province, or over 
which the province has the power of appropriation. These 
form the Consolidated Revenue Fund. It is the duty of 
the receiver-general to deposit all public moneys received by 
him into such bank as the lieutenant-governor in council 
directs. The provincial secretary is also registrar-general 
for the province. 

There is an auditor-general, whose duty is to examine 
and report on the public accounts on or before November 15 
in each year. The fiscal year ends on October 31. 

There is a deputy provincial secretary, who also holds the 
offices of deputy registrar-general and king s printer for the 
province. There is also a deputy receiver-general. 


The Board of Public Works consists of the chief com 
missioner of Public Works and two other members of the 
executive council. This board has the control and manage 
ment of all great roads and bridges and of all public works 
connected with the improvement of the province, and of the 
moneys expended thereon. The chief commissioner of Public 
Works is empowered to expropriate lands for public purposes 
in the province. 

The department of Agriculture is presided over by the 
commissioner of Agriculture. The commissioner decides all 
matters of dispute under the Agricultural Act (C. S. N. B., 
1903, cap. n), and from his decision an appeal lies to the 
lieutenant-governor in council. The objects and methods 
of this department are similar to those of the department of 
Agriculture in the Province of Nova Scotia. 

The Board of Education consists of the lieutenant- 
governor, the members of the executive council, the chancellor 
of the University of New Brunswick, and the chief super 
intendent of Education. The last named also holds the office 
of president of the senate of the University of New Brunswick, 
and is, ex officio, secretary of the Board of Education. This 
board has practically the same powers and duties as those 
appertaining to the Council of Public Instruction in Nova 

The crown lands and mines are controlled by the lieu 
tenant-governor in council, but the surveyor-general has 
very large powers in respect of their management, and dis 
posal by lease or otherwise. The surveyor-general and 
three other persons appointed by the lieutenant-governor 
in council constitute a board of examiners for land surveyors 
in the province. 

5. The Judicial System and Courts of the Province. As 
regards the general system of jurisprudence administered by 
the courts of the province, what has been said concerning 
the basis of the system prevailing in the Nova Scotia courts 
applies for the most part to the courts of New Brunswick. 
By the commission of King George in issued on November 
28, 1784, to the Hon. George Duncan Ludlow, the first 


chief justice of the Supreme Court of the province, he was 
empowered to hear, try and determine all pleas whatever, 
criminal and mixed, according to the laws, statutes and 
customs of that part of Our Kingdom of Great Britain 
called England, and the laws of Our said Province of New 
Brunswick, not being repugnant thereto. 

With respect to the statute law of England in existence 
in 1784, when the province was established, it is important 
to state that the New Brunswick courts, on the whole, have 
gone further in the direction of adopting that law than the 
Nova Scotia courts, the latter being disposed to leave its 
introduction to the will of the legislature. 

Equity jurisdiction in the province is an offshoot from 
the judicial powers conferred upon Governor Carleton by his 
commission, and its history is much the same as that of 
equity jurisdiction in Nova Scotia. In 1838 an act was 
passed by the provincial legislature for the appointment of 
a master of the rolls by the lieutenant-governor in council. 
The authority was duly carried out by the appointment of 
the Hon. Neville Parker, a lawyer of first-rate ability, to the 
office. Downing Street was offended in some way by this 
action, and neither the act nor the appointment was approved 
by the colonial secretary. At the next session of the legis 
lature the act was amended, and the right of appointment 
vested in Her Majesty. Thereupon Parker received an 
appointment from the crown. From the master of the rolls 
an appeal lay to the lieutenant-governor in council. This 
was obviously unsatisfactory, and in 1854 the chancery juris 
diction was transferred to the Supreme Court, the master 
of the rolls being made a judge thereof, and each judge 
of the court empowered to exercise equity jurisdiction. In 
1879 the policy of having a distinct equity judge was tried 
again, only to be abolished in 1890. 

The Supreme Court of New Brunswick consists of a 
chief justice and five puisne judges. In the year 1909 
the legislature passed a judicature act which came into 
force on May I, 1910. By this act the rules of law in 
force in the court are made to conform so far as possible 
to the English Judicature Rules of 1883, while the. practice 



rules are modelled upon those of the Supreme Court of 
Judicature for Ontario made in 1897. The act provides that 
the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, as constituted before 
this Act, a Court of Common Law and Equity and possessing 
original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal 
cases, shall continue under the aforesaid name to constitute 
a Supreme Court of Judicature for New Brunswick. There 
are two divisions of the court, the Chancery Division and 
the King s Bench Division. Two judges sit in the Chancery 
Division, being assigned thereto from time to time by the 
chief justice. The other judges sit in the King s Bench 
Division. The court holds in each year in the city of Fre- 
dericton five sessions en bane for the hearing of appeals 
from the judges sitting in either of the two divisions of the 
court, from judges of either division of the court sitting on 
circuit or in chambers, from the county courts, from the 
Court of Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, or from the 
Probate Court. But no judge may sit on the hearing of an 
appeal from any judgment or order made by himself. Equity 
causes or matters are assigned for hearing to the Chancery 
Division, and Common Law causes or matters to the King s 
Bench Division. Stated sittings are held by a judge of the 
Chancery Division at Fredericton, St John and Dorchester 
in every year. There are also sittings for the county of 
York and circuit courts for every county in the province, 
at which a judge of the court assigned to the King s Bench 
Division presides for the trial of all causes both civil and 
criminal. Special sittings for the trial of civil causes may 
be held by any judge of the King s Bench Division in any 
county that he may direct. Special courts of Oyer and 
Terminer and General Gaol Delivery may be held in any 
county under a commission for the purpose issued by the 
lieutenant-governor. A judge assigned to either division 
of the court, sitting in chambers, may dispose of all business 
not of an appellate nature, or not specially appointed by rule 
or order to be heard by the full court. The judge so sitting 
in chambers may also hear cases on review from inferior 
courts. Chambers in both divisions of the court are held at 
certain times in Fredericton, St John and Moncton. 


An appeal lies from the judgment of the Supreme Court 
en bane to the Supreme Court of Canada, and in certain 
cases to His Majesty s Privy Council in England. 

There is a Court of Divorce and Matrimonial Causes in 
the province exercising jurisdiction similar to the court of 
the like name in Nova Scotia. This court is presided over 
by a single judge. From his decision an appeal lies to the 
Supreme Court en bane. 

The system of county courts within the province is also 
similar in constitution to that of the county courts in the 
Province of Nova Scotia. These courts have jurisdiction 
(except in cases where title to land is brought in question, 
or in which the validity of any devise, bequest or limitation 
by will is disputed) in all actions of debt, covenant and 
assumpsit where the debt or damages do not exceed $400, 
and in all actions of tort where the damages claimed do not 
exceed $200. These courts also have jurisdiction in actions 
on bonds given in cases in any county court, whatever the 
amount of the penalty. But the county court for the city 
and county of St John cannot exercise jurisdiction in any 
case where the city court of St John has jurisdiction. There 
is a county judge s criminal court exercising jurisdiction 
under the speedy trials clauses of the Criminal Code of 
Canada. The judges of the county courts must be barristers 
of not less than seven years standing. They cannot practise 
their profession while holding office as judge. 

There are Courts of Probate in the province, which 
possess much the same constitution and procedure as the 
courts of Probate in Nova Scotia. Justice the blind 
goddess has many temples in New Brunswick. In addition 
to those above mentioned there are several courts of inferior 
civil jurisdiction. These are the stipendiary magistrates 
courts, in certain towns and parishes, the civil courts specially 
created for certain cities and important towns, the parish 
courts and the justices civil courts. In all these courts the 
procedure is simple, and an expeditious review of their judg 
ments may be had before a judge of the Supreme Court or 
a county court judge. The decision of any judge on review 
is final. 


6. Municipal Institutions. Prior to the year 1898, in 
the Province of New Brunswick, incorporation of a county 
might be obtained by petitioning the sheriff to convene a 
public meeting to consider the expediency of such incor 
poration. If at such meeting not less than one hundred 
householders were present, and if two-thirds of these were 
in favour of incorporation, then, upon this fact being certified 
by the sheriff to the lieutenant-governor in council, a charter 
of incorporation could issue. Councillors were elected by 
the ratepayers and the warden was chosen by the council. 
The county council had power to appoint a secretary-trea 
surer and certain other officers for the administration of 
the municipal government, such as assessors, collectors of 
taxes and others. The council also had power to make by 
laws for the general regulation of affairs in the municipality. 
In the year 1898 the law relating to the incorporation of 
counties was consolidated, and many improvements on the 
previous law introduced. Two years before (1896) the 
Towns Incorporation Act was passed, which enables any 
town to become incorporated under its provisions by a 
majority of the ratepayers voting therefor in an election 
held for that purpose. In a town so incorporated it is 
declared by the act that the administration of the fiscal, 
prudential and municipal affairs, and the whole legislative 
power and government of the town shall be vested in the 
mayor and aldermen. 

A number of the cities and towns of the province enjoy 
special charters of incorporation. The city of St John is 
now governed by an elective commission, under the pro 
visions of 2 Geo. v, cap. 42 (1912). The civic government 
and the administration of the fiscal, prudential and municipal 
affairs of the city continue to be vested in the common 
council as heretofore, but the composition of the council is 
limited to the mayor and four aldermen, each of whom is a 
commissioner. For the administration of public affairs the 
common council is empowered by the act to organize the 
following commissionerships : (i) Finance and Public Affairs ; 
(2) Public Safety, including Fire, Police, Lights, Market 
and Public Buildings ; (3) Public Works, including Streets, 


Highways, Squares, Parks, Playgrounds and Public Recrea 
tion Grounds ; (4) Water and Sewage ; (5) Harbours and 
Ferries and Public Lands. This enactment is well abreast 
of the times in that we find in it the machinery of the 
Recall as applied to the removal of the mayor or any 
commissioner, and the Initiative and { Referendum/ as 
they relate to the right of initiative or approval by the 
electors of any new ordinance or by-law. The common 
council is charged with the duty of establishing a merit 
system respecting civic employees. 


The revenue of New Brunswick is derived from much the 
same sources as that of Nova Scotia, that is to say, from 
Dominion subsidies, moneys arising from sales and timber 
leases of crown lands, royalties from mines, succession duties, 
certain licences issued by public authority, and taxes on 
certain incorporated companies, trades and callings that by 
law are payable into the provincial treasury instead of to the 

The total amount of Dominion subsidies received by the 
province from the date of Confederation down to the year 
1910 was $20,097,806. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 
1911, the province received on subsidy account the sum of 
$621,360.96. The crown lands are sold, under certain con 
ditions as to residence and improvements by the settlers, 
in lots of one hundred acres for the sum of $20. Timber 
areas on the crown lands may be leased for a term of nine 
hundred and ninety-nine years at a rental of $2 per acre, 
or $1280 per square mile. Stumpage dues must also be paid. 
On all leases of gold mines, and gold and silver mines, there 
is a royalty reserved of 2^2 per cent upon the gross amount 
of gold and silver mined. On prospecting licences for gold 
and silver the applicant must pay a fee of fifty cents per 
area up to ten areas, and of twenty-five cents for every 
additional area. Royalties, of varying amounts, are payable 
on the mining of coal, bituminous shale, albertite, copper, 
lead, iron, tin, precious stones and salt, and on the output 


of mineral oil wells and natural gas wells. Succession duties 
are payable upon the property of deceased persons of the 
value of $5000 and upwards, under the provisions of chapter 
17 of the Consolidated Statutes of New Brunswick, 1903. 
These duties must be paid to the receiver-general of the 
province within twelve months from the death of the deceased. 
A certain portion of moneys received for liquor licences is 
returnable into the provincial treasury. The lieutenant- 
governor in council regulates the fees payable by joint stock 
companies, created under the provincial laws, on the issue of 
letters patent for their incorporation, and such fees go into 
the treasury of the province. Railway companies incor 
porated and operating their lines under provincial laws are 
liable to the payment of a rate, not exceeding ten dollars 
per mile of their lines in use, to the receiver-general for the 
purposes of the Railway Inspection Fund. Fire insurance 
companies pay a tax into the provincial treasury of one per 
cent of the net premiums received by them. In addition 
to this foreign fire companies have to pay an annual tax 
of $100. Life insurance companies organized and having 
their principal office within the province pay an annual tax 
of $100 ; foreign life companies pay $250 per annum. 
Accident or guarantee insurance companies pay an annual 
tax of $25, with an additional tax of one-half of one per 
cent of premiums actually received by them. There are 
also special taxes payable to the receiver-general by express 
companies, street railway companies, telephone and telegraph 
companies, trust and loan companies, and banks. 

The total revenue of the province, including Dominion 
subsidy, for the year 1910, was $1,324,440 ; the total ex 
penditure for that year amounted to $1,317,876. 

The expenditure of the public moneys of the province 
is made by means of the cheque or warrant of the lieutenant- 
governor, drawn on some bank where such moneys are 
deposited, signed by the receiver-general and countersigned 
by the auditor-general of the province. 



PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, or, as it was then called, 
the Island of St John, was ceded to England by the Treaty 
of Paris in 1763, and placed under the government of 
Nova Scotia. In December of that year the Earl of Egmont, 
then First Lord of the Admiralty, presented a memorial to the 
king praying for a grant of the whole island, to hold the same 
in fee of the crown for ever. His scheme, although reminding 
present-day readers of Gilbertian opera, was a most ingeni 
ously drafted system of feudal tenures, whereby the earl 
was to be lord paramount of the whole island, having under 
him as tenants forty Capital Lords of forty Hundreds, four 
hundred Lords of Manors, and eight hundred freeholders/ 
The lord paramount was to be allotted ten hundreds for 
his own demesne, and there was to be erected thereon a 
strong castle, mounted with ten pieces of cannon, each 
carrying a ball of four pounds, with a circuit round the castle 
of three miles every way/ The lord of each hundred in his 
turn was to erect a castle or block-house as the capital seat 
of his property, and as a place of retreat and rendezvous 
for the settlers. ... A cannon fired at one of the castles 
would be heard at the next, and thus the firing would proceed 
in regular order from castle to castle, and be the means of 
putting every inhabitant of the whole island under arms 
and in motion in the space of one quarter of an hour/ And 
all this feudal revival and panoply of war was designed for an 
insular territory of twenty-one hundred square miles, in 
habited at the time by some thirty peaceful Acadian families 
and a handful of aborigines, whose camps were already 
paling their uneffectual fires. The noble earl s memorial was 
referred by the king to the Board of Trade and Plantations. 
The board reported firmly against it as involving a scheme 
that seemed totally and fundamentally adverse in its 
principles to that system of settlement and tenure which 
had of late years been adopted in the colonies, with so 


much advantage to the interests of the kingdom. But while 
Lord Egmont s scheme of settlement was thus rejected, the 
government adopted a policy of dividing the island among 
persons who had claims for military or other public services. 
The allotment was by ballot, and the balloting took place on 
July 23, 1767, in London, under the superintendence of the 
Board of Trade. The whole territory of the island, with 
the exception of a crown reserve of certain lots and three 
small reservations as sites for county towns, was thus 
granted in township lots to individual proprietors, most of 
them absentees. Quitrents were reserved in the grants, and 
stipulations were made as to settlement. In the following 
year a petition was presented to the king praying for the 
excision of the island from Nova Scotia and the establish 
ment of a separate government. The petition also asked 
that half of the quitrents payable by the proprietors should 
become payable in five years from May I, 1769, and that 
the balance should not become payable until the expiration 
of a period of twenty years. The imperial authorities 
acceded to these demands : the island was set off as a 
separate province, and Captain Walter Patterson, one of 
the proprietors, was appointed governor under a commission 
similar to that issued to Governor Cornwallis of Nova Scotia 
in 1749. 

We shall now proceed to discuss briefly : (i) the office of 
the lieutenant-governor ; (2) the executive council ; (3) the 
legislature ; (4) the public departments of government ; (5) 
the judiciary ; (6) municipal institutions. 


A good deal of friction characterized the relations between 
some of the early governors and the people. Lieutenant- 
Governor Patterson from the outset of his administration 
was confronted with lack of funds to pay the official salaries. 
The colonial office estimated that the quitrents would bring 
in a revenue of some 1470 sterling, and the governor was in 
structed to pay out of that fund the following annual salaries : 
to himself, 500 ; to the provincial secretary and registrar- 


general, 150 ; to the chief justice, ^200 ; to the attorney- 
general, ;ioo ; to the clerk of the crown and coroner, 80 ; 
to the provost-marshal, 50 ; and to a minister of the Church 
of England, 100. This arrangement was to continue for ten 
years, and if the quitrents fell short of the estimate these 
salaries were to abate proportionately. The quitrents did 
not begin to respond to the demands thus placed upon them. 
Patterson thereupon was unwise enough to divert an appro 
priation by the provincial legislature of ^3000 for the erection 
of public buildings in the island to paying the shortages in 
his own and other official salaries. The governor went to 
England in 1775 and remained there for five years. In the 
meanwhile his duties were discharged by administrators resi 
dent in the island. In 1776 the imperial authorities directed 
that legal proceedings should be taken against the delinquent 
proprietors for the recovery of quitrents, and that the sum 
so obtained should be used to refund the amount of the 
public funds diverted by Lieutenant-Governor Patterson. 
The proprietors had previously petitioned the colonial office 
that the funds required for civil establishment in the pro 
vince should be provided for in the imperial budget as in the 
case of the other Atlantic colonies. In 1773 the provincial 
legislature had passed an act authorizing the collection of 
quitrents due in a certain portion of the province by process 
of law, and when Patterson returned to the island in 1780 
he determined to carry out the powers conferred by this 
statute and the direction of the imperial authorities of 1776. 
The sale of a number of townships for arrears of quit- 
rents was thereupon effected, and this brought forth further 
memorials to the home government from the proprietors. 
The proprietors also prevailed upon the executive council 
to draft a bill for submission to the assembly for the purpose 
of avoiding the sales upon payment of the purchase-moneys, 
interest and compensation for interim improvements made 
by the purchasers. Lieutenant-Governor Patterson had 
been a purchaser at the sales, and he took upon himself the 
responsibility of withholding this bill from the assembly. 
As a result he was dismissed from office by the imperial 
authorities in 1787. The quitrent difficulty and its con- 


comitant evil, absentee landlordism, vexed the peace of the 
province for upwards of a century. It was not until 1875 
that the Land Purchase Act was passed, enabling the people 
to obtain control of the land. During all that time the 
tenure of the governorship of the island was not by any 
means a bed of roses. 

The lieutenant-governor is appointed by the governor- 
general in council. His term of office is during pleasure, but 
is conventionally limited to a period of five years. 


The executive council was originally formed by Lieutenant- 
Governor Patterson upon the basis of those existing at that 
time in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and it repeated to 
a very large extent the history of those constitutional bodies. 
Up to the time of responsible government being secured, the 
executive council chiefly exercised itself in supporting the 
governors in their arbitrary resistance to the will of the 
people. In 1839 the executive council was separated from 
the legislative council ; but the former was not made amen 
able to the control of the popular branch of the legislature 
until a much later date. 

The executive council consists of eight members, including 
the attorney-general, the provincial secretary-treasurer, the 
commissioner of Agriculture, and the commissioner of Public 


Lieutenant-Governor Patterson convened the first assem 
bly of the province in the year 1773. The assembly busied 
itself in its first session with the quitrent abuses, author 
izing the sale of lands in certain townships where the pro 
prietors were in arrears. In 1781 an act was passed author 
izing the sale of all lands in respect of which quitrents were 
due. This never received the royal assent, but Patterson 
carried out the first enactment, as we have stated. In 1784 
we find a change in the collective mind of the assembly 


as to the desirability of these forced sales. The assembly 
then resolved to complain to the king against the lieutenant- 
governor s conduct in so hastily disposing of the lands. 
While they were debating this resolution the lieutenant- 
governor dissolved the legislature. Securing the return of a 
majority of representatives pledged to support him, at the 
second session (1786) of the new assembly he forced the 
passage of an act ratifying his conduct and validating the 
sales that had been conducted under his orders. This act 
was disallowed by His Majesty, a circumstance speaking 
eloquently for the influence of the proprietors on the colonial 
office. We know that the land question was a thorn in the 
side of the assembly until the passage of the Land Purchase 
Act of 1875 ; but it is important to remember that the 
achievement of responsible government was happily not 
dependent upon the issue of that question, but was so far 
detached from it as to become fait accompli in 1851. 

As to the land question, we must leave it without further 
remark than that although Lord Durham, in 1836, denounced 
the grants of 1767 as having been made with * extreme 
improvidence and * reckless profusion, and the Land 
Commission of 1860 reported that it was imperative to the 
welfare of the province that the leasehold tenure of the 
occupants of the lands should be immediately converted into 
freehold, it was not until the province became part of the 
Dominion of Canada that the question was settled, and then 
only by means of a grant of money from the Dominion 
parliament. As one of the terms of Confederation it was 
agreed between the Dominion and the province that the 
Dominion should appropriate a sum of $800,000 for the 
purpose of purchasing the land from the proprietors. Forti 
fied with this grant, the provincial legislature in 1875 passed 
the Land Purchase Act, which was assented to by the 
administrator of the government of Canada on June 15 of 
that year. By its terms the proprietors of large estates 
were obliged to accept for them an equitable price fixed 
by arbitrators, one of whom was chosen by the landlords, 
another by the provincial government and a third by the 
tenants. After the lands had so passed into the control 


of the government they were resold to the people at cost, 
the purchasers being allowed to pay for them in instalments 
extending over a series of years. Thus the major portion 
of the lands once held as estates by absentee landlords passed 
into the hands of residents of the island to be held by free 
hold tenure ; and the land question was settled. 

Responsible government was not granted to Prince 
Edward Island until 1851. In 1849 Earl Grey transmitted 
a dispatch to the lieutenant-governor stating reasons why 
the imperial government had not thought fit to introduce 
responsible government in the island although it had been 
conceded to the other British American provinces. It was 
not granted to those provinces, he said, until the gradual 
increase of their communities in wealth, numbers and 
importance rendered it justifiable. Prince Edward Island, 
although its people were distinguished by all the qualities 
that were necessary for the exercise of plenary political 
liberty, was small in extent and population and its influential 
classes were resident almost wholly in a single town. For 
these reasons Earl Grey expressed concurrence in the view 
of his predecessor in office, William E. Gladstone, that 
the time for a grant of responsible government had not 
arrived. This, as might be expected, was not instruction of 
the sort that goes hand in hand with pleasure. Hence, 
when it was followed by a declaration of the colonial secretary 
that the time was ripe for the assembly to undertake to 
provide for the civil list, the members laid down as their 
terms for such an undertaking that the permanent revenues 
of the colony should be surrendered into their control, all 
claims to quitrents and crown lands abandoned, and a system 
of responsible government conceded. The home govern 
ment replied that while it was prepared to comply in the 
main with these demands, it could not concede responsible 
government a futile reservation, it would seem, if the 
province obtained full control of supplies. In the face of 
this impasse the lieutenant-governor, Sir Donald Campbell, 
decided to dissolve the house and convene a new one. The 
new house met on March 5, 1850. In its reply to the 
governor s speech the assembly declared its want of confidence 


In the executive council. A resolution also was moved in the 
house refusing to grant supplies until responsible govern 
ment was conceded. The governor then undertook on his 
own responsibility to admit into the executive three persons 
acceptable to the house in the place of three other members. 
Thereupon all the executive resigned. The house was pro 
rogued on March 26. Being summoned again, on April 25, 
it granted only limited supplies, leaving certain necessary 
expenditure unprovided for. The following year Sir Donald 
Campbell died, and in 1851 Sir Alexander Bannerman was 
appointed lieutenant-governor. The legislature having as 
sembled on March 25 of that year, the governor informed 
the house that responsible government would be granted 
on condition that compensation should be made to certain 
retiring officers. This condition met with the approval of 
the house, and a new government, possessing the confidence 
of a majority of the assembly, was formed. With responsible 
government thus established in the island the legislature 
proceeded to pass an act to commute the crown revenues, 
to provide for a civil list, and to pension certain crown 
officers desirous of resigning their positions. Three years 
afterwards the governor was able, in his speech at the open 
ing of the legislature, to congratulate the province on the 
prosperous state of the revenue. In 1850 the colonial 
debt was 28,000 ; in 1854 it was reduced to 3000. In a 
period of three years the revenue had increased from 22,000 
to 35,000, although the duty on tea had been reduced 
and a large expenditure incurred in reforming the educational 
system of the province. 

By an act of the legislature passed in the year 1862 
and assented to by Her Majesty on November I of that 
year, a change, betokening the progress of democratic senti 
ment in the island, was made in the provincial constitu 
tion. The legislative council became an elective body, and 
its membership was limited to thirteen. In 1893 the two 
houses were merged into one. The provincial legislature, 
therefore, consists of a single elective chamber, called the 
legislative assembly. It is composed of thirty members, 
fifteen of them being styled councillors and fifteen styled 


assemblymen. Elections for this body are regulated by 8 
Edw. vn, cap. I (1908). Any male British subject of the age 
of twenty-one years, who is not expressly disqualified by the 
act, is eligible for election to the assembly. Absence for one 
entire session without leave vacates an assemblyman s seat. 
Members of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, 
and salaried officers of the Dominion and provincial govern 
ments (except postmasters whose emoluments do not exceed 
$100 per annum, trustees of the Prince Edward Island 
Hospital for the Insane, officers of His Majesty s army and 
navy, and officers of the militia not being salaried staff 
officers) are disqualified. Mayors and city councillors, com 
missioners of sewers and water supply in any incorporated 
city or town, contractors with the provincial government 
and clergymen are also disqualified. The qualifications for 
voting in the election of councillors to the assembly are 
that the voter shall be a male British subject of the age of 
twenty-one years, shall hold real estate in freehold or lease 
hold of the value of $325, or own land partly freehold and 
partly leasehold of the value of $325, for six months previous 
to the test of the writ of election. The qualifications for 
voting in the election of assemblymen are, in addition to the 
above requirements as to sex and age, that the voter for 
six months previous to the tests of the election writ was 
owner of a freehold estate of $100 in value or the clear 
yearly value of six dollars, or was in the bona fide use and 
occupation of such estate. Before they are allowed to vote, 
voters for assemblymen are also required to produce vouchers 
that they have paid certain provincial taxes. A returning 
officer can only give a casting vote in the case of an equality 
of votes. 

There is a speaker, who presides at the meetings of the 
assembly, and in his absence the house may elect one of its 
members to act as deputy speaker. The other officers of 
the assembly are the clerk of the house, the law clerks and 
the sergeant-at-arms. 

The term of the assembly is four years from the day of 
the return of the writs for a general election. There must 
be a session of the legislature once in every year. 



The departments of the provincial public service are 
presided over by the following : the provincial secretary- 
treasurer and commissioner of Agriculture ; the commissioner 
of Public Works ; the attorney-general ; the auditor-general ; 
the registrar of Deeds and commissioner of Public Lands ; 
and the chief superintendent of Education. The nature of 
their respective duties is sufficiently indicated by their 
official titles and designations. There are also an assistant 
provincial secretary- treasurer, who is charged with the 
duties of clerk of the executive council, and a secretary of 
Public Works. 

With reference to educational administration it is impor 
tant to note that the central control is vested in a Board of 
Education, appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council. 
The chief superintendent has the general management of the 
school system of the province, subject to the direction of 
the board. 


The chief courts of justice in the Province of Prince 
Edward Island are the Supreme Court of Judicature and the 
Court of Chancery. The county courts and the surrogate 
and probate courts, although exercising an inferior jurisdiction, 
are courts of importance. 

The Supreme Court of Judicature was established by 
Lieu tenant-Governor Patterson, under the authority of his 
commission, in 1770. At this time the population of the 
whole island only comprised one hundred and fifty families, 
and it was quite within the capabilities of one judge to dis 
pose of all the business coming before the court. John 
Duport was appointed to the court with the title of chief 
justice. A census of the island taken in the year 1798 shows 
the total number of inhabitants to have been only 4372 at 
that time, but twenty years before two assistant judges had 
been appointed to the Supreme Court. At the outset this 


court administered so much of the English common and 
statute law as was considered to be applicable to the social 
conditions of the colony, together with the laws passed by 
the local legislature. In this way a general system of juris 
prudence has been built up in the province. In addition to 
this, the Supreme Court, in common with the supreme 
courts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, now administers 
certain jurisdiction conferred upon it by Dominion legisla 
tion, such as the criminal law and the law appertaining to 
controverted elections for the House of Commons. Prior 
to January I, 1874, the practice of the Supreme Court was 
the old English common law practice. The imperial parlia 
ment in 1873 had introduced radical reforms in practice and 
procedure under what are known as the Judicature Acts, but 
the legislature of Prince Edward Island, as appears by 
chapter 22 of the Acts of 1873, was content with so much 
reform in the ancient practice as was embodied in the 
imperial Common Law Procedure Act of 1852. The modern 
English practice has not yet been adopted in Prince Edward 
Island, although it has been introduced into the two other 
Atlantic provinces into Nova Scotia in 1884, and into New 
Brunswick in 1910. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction 
in all common law actions in contract and tort, but no 
action for debt can be instituted where the amount is under 
thirty-two dollars. By the provincial statute of Limitations 
actions of trespass, trover, replevin and debt must be brought 
within six years after the cause of action arose ; assault and 
battery within one year ; defamation within six months ; 
actions for the recovery of lands, for moneys secured by 
mortgage, judgment or lien, or otherwise chargeable upon 
any land, and actions upon any deed, covenant or instru 
ment under seal, within twenty years. The Supreme Court 
exercises an appellate jurisdiction over the county courts. 
The Supreme Court now consists of a chief justice and two 
assistant or puisne judges. 

The origin of chancery jurisdiction in Prince Edward 
Island is found in the judicial powers conferred by royal 
commission upon Lieutenant-Governor Patterson and his 
executive council. As in the other Atlantic provinces, at 


the beginning of judicial history the lieutenant-governor 
was, in theory and practice, the chancellor. In 1848 the 
office of master of the rolls was created by provincial enact 
ment, and the incumbent of such office was given the like 
powers and authority in respect to the Court of Chancery in 
this island, so far as the common and statute laws in force 
in this island extend, that the Master of the Rolls in 
England has in respect of the like Court in that country 
(Laws of P. E. Island, vol. i. p. 525). He was made * the 
responsible adviser and Judge of the said Court [Chancery] 
except in appeals from his decisions to the chancellor. He 
was also made by the same statute an assistant or puisne 
judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature, exercising as such 
the same powers and authority as those of a judge of the 
Court of Queen s Bench in England at that time. In 1869 
a vice-chancellor of the Court of Chancery was appointed 
having the same equity jurisdiction as the master of the 
rolls ; and in addition to this he was made an assistant judge 
of the Supreme Court. From that time on the court has 
been composed of a master of the rolls and a vice-chancellor. 
Chancery procedure is based on that prevailing in England 
prior to the Judicature Acts. 

The Court of Appeal in Equity consists of the chief 
justice of the Supreme Court, the master of the rolls and the 

The system of county courts now existing was established 
in 1873. There are three judges, one each for Kings, Queens 
and Prince counties. The counties are divided into county 
court circuits, where sittings of the courts are periodically 
held. The county courts have jurisdiction in cases of debt 
or damage up to $150. They cannot entertain actions where 
the title to land comes in question or actions involving dis 
pute as to the validity of any bequest or devise, or actions 
for criminal conversation, seduction, or breach of promise 
of marriage. The county courts exercise appellate juris 
diction over small debt courts in the city of Charlottetown 
and town of Summerside, and from the decisions of magis 
trates in civil cases throughout the province. An appeal lies 
from the county courts to the Supreme Court of Judicature. 



The office of surrogate and judge of probate of wills for 
the province was established at the time of the organization 
of the province. In 1838 an act of the legislature was passed 
to enable the surrogate and judge of Probate to issue pro 
cess of contempt against any person disobeying a citation, 
monition, precept or order made by the court. This court 
has jurisdiction throughout the province over the estates 
of deceased persons, and is empowered under the existing 
law to grant letters testamentary and letters of administra 
tion. But the jurisdiction of this court does not dislodge 
the inherent powers of the Court of Chancery in respect of 
the administration of the estates of deceased persons. A 
single judge constitutes this court and his jurisdiction extends 
over the whole island. 

There are courts of inferior civil jurisdiction, presided 
over by stipendiary magistrates in the city of Charlotte- 
town and town of Summerside. The stipendiary magistrates 
of Charlottetown and Summerside also exercise summary 
criminal jurisdiction ; and a like jurisdiction is exercised 
by a stipendiary magistrate for each of the three counties in 
the province. 


When Prince Edward Island became part of the Dominion 
of Canada in virtue of Her Majesty s order-in-council of 
June 26, 1873, the province became entitled by the terms 
of Confederation to incur a debt of $4,701,050. Until the 
provincial debt should amount to that sum the Dominion 
undertook to pay interest in advance at the rate of five 
per cent per annum on the difference from time to time 
between the actual amount of such debt and the amount 
of indebtedness so authorized. The Dominion also under 
took to pay $45,000 per annum, less interest at five per 
cent, upon any sum not exceeding $800,000 to be advanced 
to the provincial government for the purchase of the lands 
held by the large proprietors. It was also agreed that the 
Dominion should pay to the province, for the support of its 
government and legislature, the yearly sum of $30,000, 


together with an annual grant equal to eighty cents per 
head of the then population of the province, to be augmented 
in proportion to the increase of population of the island 
as shown by each subsequent decennial census, until the 
population should amount to four hundred thousand, at 
which rate such annual grant should remain fixed. For the 
fiscal year ending March 31, 1911, the province received 
from the Dominion government a net subsidy amounting to 
$281,931.88. In addition to this revenue the provincial 
treasury is supplied by a general system of taxation through 
out the province, consisting of succession duties on estates 
of deceased persons, assessments on real property (not being 
within the city of Charlottetown or the town of Summer- 
side), road taxes and income taxes. Besides these sources 
of revenue the public treasury receives fees for marriage 
licences, and tolls and imposts upon certain corporations, 
trades and callings. Fines prescribed for breaches of the 
provincial laws also go to the provincial exchequer. The 
public lands of the province are of so limited an area that 
the revenue therefrom is insignificant. 

In 1911 the provincial legislature voted supplies to the 
government amounting to $424,461. Of this a sum of 
$39I36l was for ordinary expenditure and $33,100 for 
capital account. The largest item of expenditure was for 
education, namely, $127,980. 

For the payment of moneys out of the provincial treasury 
there are similar safeguards to those existing in the other 
Atlantic provinces. 


There is no general system of municipal government in the 
province. Owing to the circumscribed area of the island 
and the smallness of its population the legislature finds it 
convenient to attend to all matters of local self-government 
outside the capital city of Charlottetown and the town of 
Summerside, which enjoy special charters of incorporation. 
However, by an act of the legislature passed in the year 
1870, it is provided that the residents of any town or village 


desiring incorporation may present a memorial to the lieu 
tenant-governor in council for such purpose. A justice of 
the peace may then be appointed to define the boundaries 
of the proposed municipality, and to call a public meeting of 
the householders resident in such town or village. A majority 
of two-thirds of the householders present at such meeting is 
required to sanction the project of incorporation ; and upon 
a report to the lieutenant-governor of such majority having 
been obtained, he may issue a precept to any justice of 
the peace directing the election of three or more wardens. 
The wardens have power to appoint necessary municipal 
officers, and to pass by-laws, subject to the approval of the 
lieutenant-governor in council, for the administration of 
matters of finance and police within the municipal boundaries. 







*" v ^HE first school-teachers came from France to the 

western part of Nova Scotia ; and as early as 

J^ 1737 a school is said to have been established by 

the Sisters of the Congregation at Louisbourg in the extreme 

east of the province. 

There is evidence that attention was early given by the 
British to the problem of public education, for on September 
II, 1732, Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong gave the following 
instructions to Major Paul Mascarene : 

That a town lot and a sufficient quantity of land shall 
be set apart within the said parish or district for the 
minister, as also for the schoolmaster and their successors 
in office. 

That for the encouragement of the first minister and 
schoolmaster, grants in fee simple shall be made to each 
of them for lots as aforesaid to the other inhabitants for 
them and their heirs for ever. 

The influence of great European educationists Comenius, 
Locke, Milton, the Jesuits, and the schoolmasters of Port 
Royal in France was then beginning to make itself felt 
on public men responsible for the administration of public 
affairs. Before these educational reformers arose the clergy 
had been the promoters and patrons of general education. 



The schoolmaster thus became, very naturally, the assistant 
of the clergy, and his methods and work were, accordingly, 
predominatingly determined by the religious, or rather the 
denominational, conditions of his environment. 

In April 1746 the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel in Foreign Parts, on the application of the Lords 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, who were vigor 
ously pushing colonial enterprises, unanimously concurred 
in the following resolutions : 

That six clergymen and six schoolmasters of the 
Church of England shall be provided by the Society, 
and sent to Nova Scotia as the settlements are made, and 
the occasions of the colony require. That the salary to 
each Missionary be 70 Pounds a year, which is the highest 
salary allowed to any missionary employed by the Society, 
and that 50 Pounds be given to each missionary as a 
gratuity to facilitate the first settlement, which is more 
than has ever been given by the Society upon any such 

That the salary to each schoolmaster be 15 Pounds 
per annum, which is the highest salary allowed to any 
schoolmaster employed by the Society, and that 10 
Pounds be given to each schoolmaster as a gratuity to 
facilitate the first settlement, which is the greatest sum 
ever given by the Society to any schoolmaster upon any 
occasion. . . . 

The Society will use their best endeavours to appoint 
some missionaries and schoolmasters who can speak the 
French language. 

Governor Cornwallis landed at Chebucto on June 21, 
1749, and founded the city of Halifax, which henceforth 
became the centre of the provincial administration. In 
1751 there appears to have been a population of about 
six thousand in the settlement. A school building for 
orphan children and a public hospital were provided. In 
1753 fifty poor children were being instructed in the orphan 
school by a discharged soldier. 

On October 2, 1758, the first provincial parliament of 
Nova Scotia met, and in 1766 An Act concerning schools 
and schoolmasters was passed. The first section of this 


act deals with the grammar school teacher, and then with 
the common school teacher, as follows : 

Be it enacted by the Commander-in-Chief, Council, 
and Assembly, that no person hereafter shall set up or 
keep a grammar school within this province, till he shall 
first have been examined by the minister of such town 
wherein he proposes to keep such grammar school, as to 
the qualifications for the instruction of children in such 
schools ; and where no minister shall be settled, such 
examination shall be made by two Justices of the Peace 
for the county, together with a certificate from at least 
six of the inhabitants of such town, of the morals and 
good conduct of such schoolmaster, which shall be trans 
mitted to the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or Com 
mander-in-Chief, for the time being, for obtaining a 
licence as by His Majesty s royal instruction is directed ; 

And that no person shall set up or keep a school for 
the instruction of youth in reading, writing, or arith 
metic, within the township of Halifax, without such 
examination, certificate, and licence, or in any other 
manner than is before directed ; and every such school 
master who shall set up or keep a school contrary to 
this Act, shall for every offence, forfeit the sum of three 
Pounds, upon conviction before two Justices of the 
Peace of the county where such person shall so offend, to 
be levied by warrant of distress, and applied for the use 
of the school of the town where such offence shall be 

The second section of this act reflects the sentiment of 
the times with reference to religious instruction, a heritage 
brought from the homeland. It is as follows : 

Provided, that no person shall presume to enter upon 
the said office of schoolmaster, until he shall have taken 
the oaths appointed to be taken instead of the oath of 
allegiance and supremacy, and subscribed the declaration 
openly in some one of His Majesty s courts, or as shall 
be directed by the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or 
Commander-in-Chief for the time being, and if any 
popish recusant, papist or person professing the popish 
religion, shall be so presumptive as to set up any school 
within this province, and be detected therein, such 
offender shall, for every such offence, suffer three months 


imprisonment without bail or mainprize, and shall pay 
a fine to the King of ten pounds ; and if any one shall 
refuse to take the said oaths and subscribe the declara 
tion, he shall be deemed and be taken to be a popish 
recusant for the purposes so before mentioned. 

In 1786 this second section was repealed, but the following 
section of the act was still left in force for a few years : 

Provided also, and it is hereby enacted and declared, 
That nothing in this Act contained shall extend, or be 
construed to extend, to the permitting any popish person, 
priest or schoolmaster, taking on themselves the edu 
cation or government, or boarding youth, within this 
Province, to admit into their schools any youth under 
the age of fourteen years, who shall have been brought 
up and educated in the protestant religion. 

The third and last section of the Act of 1766 reads : 

And whereas His Majesty has been pleased to order 
that four hundred acres of land in each township, shall 
be granted to and for the use and support of schools, be 
it enacted, That the said quantity of lands shall be vested 
in trustees for the said purpose, and such trustees shall 
be and are hereby enabled to sue and defend for and on 
behalf of such schools, and to improve all such lands as 
shall be most for the advantage and benefit thereof. 

Some years were to pass before the government ventured 
to take any new step in aid of education. On October 23, 
1780, it was moved in the legislature that the House do take 
into consideration the establishing a public school, in such 
part of the Province as shall be thought most proper. A 
committee of seven was appointed to consider the question 
and report. James Brenton, the attorney-general, reported 
three days later : 

That a sum not exceeding 1500 Pounds be granted to 
defray the expense of erecting a proper and convenient 
building in the town of Halifax for that purpose, the 
said sum to be raised in manner as shall be directed by 
the General Assembly ; that a sum not exceeding 100 
Pounds be annually granted in the estimates of expenses 
of government for the support of a schoolmaster, and 


when the number of scholars shall exceed forty, a further 
allowance of 50 Pounds per annum be added in the said 
estimates for the support of an usher or assistant ; that 
there be annually appointed by the governor, lieutenant- 
governor, or commander-in-chief, five persons as trustees 
and directors of the said school, who are to be empowered 
to make bye-laws and regulations for the same, and be 
incorporated for that purpose. 

The house agreed to the resolution and passed a bill for 
raising by a lottery the 1500 for building purposes. 


On March 8, 1783, the clergymen of the Church of 
England in New York formulated a Plan of Religious and 
Literary Institutions for the Province of Nova Scotia. In 
accordance therewith in 1788 an academy was established at 
Windsor by the legislature. In 1789 a grammar school was 
established in Halifax, the capital ; and simultaneously an act 
incorporating King s College at Windsor was passed. In the 
following year ^500 was voted for the site of the college and 
400 a year for its maintenance. In 1802 it received a 
royal charter from England and an annual grant of 1000. 
One of its statutes contained the following clause : 

No member of the university shall frequent the Romish 
Mass or the meeting-houses of Presbyterians, Baptists, 
or Methodists, or the Conventicles or places of worship 
of any other dissenters from the Church of England, or 
where Divine Service shall not be performed according 
to the liturgy of the Church of England. 

As three-fourths of the population came thus under the 
category of dissenters, it is not surprising that a movement 
was set on foot for the removal of the denominational test, 
or the founding of an undenominational college. In Pictou 
as early as 1805 the Rev. Dr Thomas M c Culloch began 
the agitation in the northern part of the province. The 
Education Act of 1811, which established grammar schools 
in each of the ten most important districts of Nova Scotia 



with an allowance of ^100 for the headmaster and 50 for 
an assistant when the pupils numbered over thirty, enabled 
the people of Pictou to make their influence felt so effectively 
that in 1816 an act of incorporation for an academy on the 
plan of a Scottish university was obtained. An annual 
grant of ^400 was obtained for the Pictou Academy for a 
few years ; but, although several of its graduates won 
by examination the degree of A.M. from the University of 
Glasgow, the government refused to give degree-conferring 
powers to the institution. Finally, even the annual grant 
was stopped, although the house of assembly, representing 
the people, four-fifths of whom were now disqualified from 
obtaining a university degree within the province, voted 
unanimously in favour of the grant. In 1832 the academy 
was forced to take its place among the secondary schools, 
and in the same year King s College was informed of the 
cessation of the imperial grant of ^1000. The conflict 
between the house of assembly and the irresponsible exe 
cutive council on this question largely contributed to the 
movement that in 1848 resulted in making the government 
responsible to the house of assembly. 

During the War of 1812 an expedition sailing from 
Halifax captured and held the town of Castine in the State 
of Maine. The sum of 9750, a portion of the revenue 
collected at this place, was appropriated to the founding in 
1818 of a provincial university modelled after the Scottish 
universities. The corner-stone was laid in Halifax by the 
lieutenant-governor, the Earl of Dalhousie, in 1820. The 
founding of this institution was undoubtedly a silent in 
fluence in the conflict determining the fall of the Pictou 
Academy to the plane of a secondary school. In 1838 
Dalhousie College was opened under the principalship of 
Dr M c Culloch of the Pictou Academy. Two years after 
the death of Dr M c Culloch, in 1843, the college was closed 
to allow the funds to accumulate. 

In 1863, under a new act, the university was reopened, in 
its original home on the spot where the City Hall now stands. 
In 1887 the corner-stone of the university building in the 
centre of the city was laid. In 1910 more extensive grounds 


near by, between the present site and the North- West Arm, 
were purchased, and in 1912 preparations were made for the 
laying out of a commodious campus and the erection of 
several university buildings. The university is entirely 
undenominational, its governors being appointed by the 
lieutenant-governor in council. 

In 1837, when Dalhousie College was being organized in 
Halifax, the Rev. Dr E. A. Crawley, a highly accomplished 
educationist of the Baptist denomination, applied for a posi 
tion on the staff. Dr. Crawley was not appointed, we learn 
on good authority, 1 because he did not desire the professorship 
which at the time was vacant. Before the bar of the house 
of assembly, Michael Wallace, provincial treasurer, one of 
the governors, was asked by Joseph Howe : Do I now 
understand distinctly that the Rev. Mr Crawley was not 
rejected because he is a Baptist ? To which Wallace 
replied : He certainly was not rejected on that account. I 
say that decidedly for His Excellency and myself. 

The Baptists, however, were not represented on the staff 
of the provincial university, and in 1838, in the interests of 
their denomination, founded Acadia College at Wolfville. 
The institution was soon surrounded by a boys school, 
Horton Academy, and a girls school, Acadia Seminary. With 
splendid enthusiasm money was raised, eminent scholars were 
appointed to professorships, and capable students poured in. 
A science building was erected in 1910, and efficiently equipped 
on the tree-adorned campus surrounding the central university 

The Presbyterian College originated in affiliation with the 
Pictou Academy about 1820. It was reorganized at West 
River, Pictou County, in 1848, and migrated to Truro in 
1858, thence to Gerrish Street, Halifax, in 1860, and finally 
in 1878 to Pine Hill on the North-West Arm near Halifax. 

St Francis Xavier College was founded in 1854 at Anti- 
gonish and is now the leading Roman Catholic university for 
the Atlantic provinces of Canada. In 1911 a well-equipped 
science building was opened near the main university building. 

St Mary s College was opened in the city of Halifax in 

1 See Occasional^ Letter, Acadian Recorder, Halifax, December 9, 1911. 


the year 1860 as a Roman Catholic college ; but since the 
withdrawal of provincial grants from the universities in 
1 88 1 it did but little work beyond the secondary grade 
until 1903. 

Mount Allison College University was established by the 
Methodists in 1862 within the province of New Brunswick 
just beyond the Nova Scotian boundary. As it supplied 
the needs of the Methodists of Nova Scotia, however, it 
drew, up to 1881, an annual provincial grant equal to that 
of Acadia College $2400. 

The University of Halifax was incorporated by the 
legislature on the model of the University of London, all 
the older universities being represented on the board of 
governors and senate. This was the second and last attempt 
to unify the university systems of the province. It received 
for a few years an annual grant of $2000, while King s and 
Dalhousie were in receipt of $3000 each ; Acadia and Mount 
Allison, $2400 each ; St Francis Xavier and St Mary s, 
$1500 each. After a change of government the teaching 
universities were asked if, on condition of being allowed to 
retain their provincial grants, they would be willing to 
surrender their degree-conferring powers to the University 
of Halifax. As some of them declined, the provincial 
grants were withdrawn in 1881 from all the universities, 
and from that date the University of Halifax ceased to 

College Ste Anne was founded in 1890 by the Eudists 
from France, at Church Point, Digby County, for the bene 
fit of the French Roman Catholics. It was incorporated 
with university powers by the legislature in 1892. 

The Seminary of the Holy Heart, founded by the Eudists 
in the city of Halifax in 1895, is another French Roman 
Catholic College with university powers. 


The standing of the Nova Scotian independent colleges 
with university or degree-conferring powers, as reported for 



the academic year ended June 1911, is briefly and compara 
tively shown in the following table : 






T3 *i 








W fj 


rt c 







M V 

*-< n 





up to 1911 


w ^ 







King s . . 


Windsor . . 

Church of 




(5) 1 

(I3) 1 




Dalhousie . 


Halifax . . 













ft * * 








Acadia . 


Wolfville . 






(22)! 230 


St Francis 


Antigonish . 








St Mary s . 


Halifax . . 





Ste Anne 


Church Point 




. . . 



Holy Heart 


Halifax . . 





Royal Naval 

* W :O 

Halifax . . 

Dominion of 







College of 





Totals . , 








1 These students are included in the arts totals. 












Maritime Business Col 

Halifax . . 







Halifax Ladies College 

5 * 





1 60 

Halifax Conservatory of 








Sacred Heart Academy 







Mount St Vincent 







Collegiate School . 





Church School for Girls 






Horton Collegiate 

Wolfville . 







Acadia Seminary . 






Acacia Villa School 







Our Lady of Lourdes . 

Lourdes . . 






Totals . 






All the important convent schools not included above 
are affiliated with the common or high school public system 
in their respective localities. 


We shall now attempt to outline the evolution of govern 
ment - directed education, commencing with the primary 
and secondary schools. The acts of 1766, 1780 and 1786 
have already been alluded to. The act of 1794 opens with 
the preamble : Whereas no particular fund is appropriated 
for the support of the Halifax Grammar School, and as it 
is also expedient that some provision should be made for 
the support of schools in other parts of the Province . . . 
Then follows the first section, by which, for the support of 
schools, an additional duty of threepence a gallon was 
placed on wine imported. The second section specified that 
if more than ^150 were raised in Halifax from this source 
(150 was the grant to the Halifax Grammar School) the 
remainder would be applied to the use of the poor of the 
city. The third section provided that if the amount thus 
raised should fall short of 150, the deficiency must be made 
up from the duty on licensed houses in the city. Section 
four indicated how the drawback of duties on wine exported 
to any other part of the province should be dealt with. 
Section five applied to the province outside the city, and 
reads : 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that all the sums of money, as shall be collected as 
aforesaid, by virtue of this Act, in each and every of 
the outports, harbours and creeks of this Province, and 
paid into the county treasury as aforesaid, shall be used 
and applied for the purpose of public schools, or such 
other beneficial purposes, as the Justices of the Peace, 
in their General Sessions, shall think most expedient 
and useful, the same to be drawn for by the warrant 
on the County Treasurer, signed by a majority of the 
Justices present, at such General Sessions of the Peace 
as aforesaid. 


A special tax on wine for the general aid of education 
and the lottery device of fourteen years before appear very 
strange at the present day. The sixth and last section was 
repeated in some form or other for many years. It was 
4 to continue in force for one year, and thence to the end of 
the next General Assembly and no longer. 

The act of 1811 For encouraging the establishment of 
schools throughout the Province was to continue in force 
for three years, and the Act to establish Grammar Schools 
in several Counties and Districts of the Province for seven 
years. However, until 1826 they were from time to time 
renewed with little alteration. 

For the grammar schools, since designated * High 
Schools, three trustees were appointed by the lieutenant- 
governor in council in each of the counties of Halifax, Sydney, 
Cumberland, Kings, Queens, Lunenburg, Annapolis and 
Shelburne, and in the districts of Colchester, Pictou and 
Yarmouth. Annually ^150 were to be given to each under 
conditions of which the most essential was that the scholar 
shall be taught English Grammar, the Latin and Greek 
languages, Orthography, the use of the Globes, and the 
practical branches of the Mathematicks or such learning as 
may be judged necessary. A grant of 100 was to be made 
for the payment of the salary of the master, and if more than 
thirty scholars should be in attendance, 50 to the usher 
or second teacher. The trustees were to nominate not more 
than eight free scholarsorphans or boys whose parents 
were too poor to pay for their education. This was the 
origin of the present county academy system of Nova 

The common school system was developed in the act of 
1811 by constituting townships, districts and settlements as 
virtual corporations for school purposes, provided they con 
tained thirty families or householders. Freehold or income 
of at least forty shillings a year was the qualification for 
voting. The first Monday in April or November was the 
date of the annual meeting. Six fit and proper persons, 
being freeholders, were to be elected, from whom the Court 
of General Sessions of the Peace for the county would select 



three to be trustees during good behaviour and residence in 
the settlement. 

It was not until 1826, however, that the justices of the 
peace at general or quarter sessions were required to sub 
divide the county into school districts about four miles in 
diameter. These are now known as school sections. It 
was next made their duty to refer the boundaries of these 
districts to a new board of three created for the general 
supervision of education. In 1828 this board was granted 
two additional members. 

These boards of school commissioners were appointed by 
the lieutenant-governor in council for definite districts of 
the province. There are now thirty-three of these districts, 
each about half the size of the average county. The members 
of these boards took the place of the local clergy and justices 
of the peace in examining and licensing teachers, inspecting 
schools and school returns, and changing the boundaries of 
school sections the latter function about the only duty 
which has not been since transferred to the Council of Public 
Instruction. The clerks of these boards were at first allowed 
10, and a fee of half a crown for each licence granted. In 
the act of 1832 they were allowed five per cent of the pro 
vincial grant paid out by them to the teachers. This office 
has since 1864 been absorbed in that of the inspector. 

The principle of assessment for raising local funds for 
school purposes was recommended in the act of 181 1. Section 
seven provides that when a school so established shall be 
in part provided by assessment, the scholars shall be taught 
free from all expense whatever, other than their own books 
and stationery, and individual proportion of fuel. Section 
eighteen of the act of 1826 directs that all school expenses 
should be raised by assessment. But section twenty makes it 
unnecessary to resort to assessment if the amount should be 
raised voluntarily by subscription. 

On March 25, 1825, there was a great field-day in the 
house of assembly over the report of the committee on 
Education, which recommended the passing of a universal 
compulsory assessment law, but the report was rejected. 
The fight was repeated the following year, but without 


success. In 1832 there was a retreat, when it was enacted 
that assessment was not to be authorized without a two- 
thirds majority and the approval of the General Sessions 
of the Peace. 

In 1841 the lieutenant-governor, Lord Falkland, opened 
parliament with a long speech in which he strongly pressed 
the adoption of a general assessment law ; but the legislature 
could not venture to take the step, so hostile was popular 
sentiment to anything like compulsory contribution. 

In 1850 John William (afterwards Sir William) Dawson 
was appointed provincial superintendent of Education. This 
distinguished educationist was later chosen principal of 
M c Gill University. During his short term of three years 
there was a rapid advance in the enlightenment of both the 
legislature and the people. Improved school buildings and 
teaching methods were beginning to be understood as worth 
their greater cost. The system of local assessment was 
found to be fair and eminently convenient. It thus became 
possible to have a provincial Normal School opened in 1855 
at Truro, the geographical centre of the province. Under its 
first principal, the Rev. Dr Alexander Forrester, the second 
provincial superintendent of Education, the lecture-room, 
the public platform and the press combined to prepare the 
public for the establishment of the free school system which 
was achieved in 1864. 

Dr Charles (afterwards Sir Charles) Tupper, who was 
leader of the government at that time, tactfully introduced 
the bill establishing free schools, and ultimately secured the 
concurrence of the leader of the opposition, Sir Adams G. 
Archibald. Without serious opposition the measure finally 
became law. But in every school section throughout the 
land there were at least three or four families whose education 
had been completed under the old conditions. These were 
now about to be taxed for the education of families of many 
who had never contributed anything to the support of the 
local school. Many, too, and among them some of the 
most influential individuals in the section, had no children 
to send to school. To these the new act was considered 
unjust beyond experience or tradition. But as the leading 


representatives of both political parties were committed to 
the principle of assessment, which had for a generation 
been glorified as the unapproachable ideal, it was not allowed 
to become a party question. Yet at the first election under 
Confederation the electors swept away every candidate of 
the old government except Dr Tupper. A year or two 
later ratepayers beyond sixty years of age were exempted 
from assessment until the system was naturalized. Had 
this temporary provision been in the original act there would 
have been less of this hostile sentiment developed. 

Although during these years a general interest in educa 
tion had been increasing, the census of 1861 showed that, 
out of a population of some 300,000 over the age of five 
years, there were 81,000 who could not read. It was esti 
mated that in 1863, while some 37,000 were enrolled as 
attending school during the year, there were more who 
never attended school at all about 50,000, according to 
careful estimates. The table on opposite page gives at a 
glance the principal statistical elements of the growth of 
public elementary education up to the inauguration of the 
free school system. 

The Free School Act of 1864 provided for the division 
of the province into school sections approximating four 
miles in diameter, so that pupils might not have to travel 
much beyond two miles to the school near the centre of the 
territory. Towns and cities also were designated school 

The schools in each rural section were placed under the 
control of an elective board of three trustees. In towns and 
cities the boards are now constituted of members from the 
town or city council and others appointed by the lieutenant- 
governor in council. 

The schools, both elementary and secondary, were to be 
free to all of school age in the section ; and an extra grant 
(academic) was given to the high school in the county, which 
was to be open as the county academy, free to all qualified 
pupils of the county who could pass the provincial standard 
* Academy Entrance examination. 

The public school programme first formulated from 1880 




(A) Before the Free School System 

>. is 










V V C 

v <* tt 




Cost of 



ji s- 


c a 

< 1 



1820 . 



1824 . . 







1828 . . 






1829 . 

. . 



. .. 



1831 . 








1832 . . 







Schools only 















1835 . . 







I8 3 6 . . 








1841 . 





. * 

. . . 

1842 . 








1844 . . 
1846 . . 










Common and 
" High Schools 









1850 . 







J. W. Dawson 

1851 . . 








1852 . . . 









. . 



. .. 


. .. 

I8 54 . . 







M. &R. 

i8 5 6". . ;;; 






A. Forrester 

1857 . . 1002 






1858 . . 1127 






1859 . . 







1860 . . 







1861 . . 







1862 . . 








1863 . . 







1864 . . 







T. H. Rand 


to 1885 consists of (i) the common school course of eight 
years (eight grades) and (2) the high school courses of four 
years (four grades), the whole forming a twelve years 
course articulating with the universities, the Normal College 
and teaching profession, and other special schools and 
institutions. A high school certificate of grades ix, x, XI 
or xn, showing the proficiency of the candidate in each 
subject, is granted all who pass the provincial examinations 
at the end of each school year. 

The Nova Scotian common schools lead up directly to the 
high schools, which are now simply the public schools from 
grade ix to grade XH. The high school programme allows 
of numerous options. 

The schools are supported by funds from three sources, 
namely : 

1. Sectional Assessment. 

2. Grants from the Municipal (County) School Fund. 

3. The Provincial Aid. 

Sectional assessment is the main support of the schools. 
At the annual meeting the school trustees present their 
estimates for the coming year (which begins about the end 
of August after the summer vacation) to the assembled 
ratepapers, who vote the amount to be levied on the 
section for all school purposes, elect the new trustee, etc. In 
1911 the property thus assessed in the province amounted 
to $104,033,312. The value of the school property itself 
was $2,756,544. The total vote levied and collected was 
$804,125, of which $693,429 was for salaries and $110,696 
for building and repairs. 

The Municipal Fund was determined in each of the 
twenty-four rural municipalities of the province by levying 
thirty cents (now thirty-five cents) on the municipality for 
each unit of the population according to the latest census. 
The amount is then levied on the assessable property and 
collected with the other municipal rates. The fund is paid 
out to school boards on the order of the superintendent 
at the end of the school year as follows : (i) twenty-five 
dollars for each teacher employed : (2) the balance (except 


one hundred dollars for every pupil from the municipality in 
the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and in the School 
for the Blind) to be distributed in proportion to the attend 
ance of pupils in each school section. For 1911 these 
amounts were respectively (i) on account of teachers $61,024, 
(2) on account of attendance $73,237, (3) on account of the 
deaf $5780, and (4) on account of the blind $6780. The 
total fund in 1911 was $146,821. 

The provincial aid was originally paid only to the teachers 
of the third, second and first classes at the rate of $60, 
$90 and $120 per annum. Now there are five classes of 
teachers based on professional training and five grades of 
scholarship. These grants are payable only to the teachers 
employed in legal schools. 

Licence Class D, Scholarship, Grade IX, Grant $60 

^f "> 

*B, f xi, $120 

A, XH, $150 

Licence Class Academic, Scholarship, University degree, 

etc., $i8oto $210. 

To those who hold a rural science licence and are teaching 
an approved course in a rural school with school garden 
equipment, $15, $30, $60 or $90 additional is paid, according 
to character of qualifications and work. In 1911 the whole 
amount of the provincial aid was $226,389. Kindergarten 
teachers can qualify for any except the academic grants. 

The manual training schools since 1900 are of two kinds : 
(i) mechanic science (attended chiefly by boys), maximum 
provincial grant for school, $600 ; (2) domestic science 
(attended chiefly by girls), maximum grant $300 per annum 
per school. Total grants for 1911 : mechanic science $12,646, 
domestic science $9691. The technical and mining schools 
are of still later origin, and will be referred to later. 

The general growth of the system from 1864 to 1911 is 
statistically shown from year to year in the following tables. 
The first covers the period having summer and winter terms 
twenty-eight years up to 1892 ; the second covers the 
period of annual school terms, from 1893 to 1911. The 



population of the province at the end of each decade from 
1851 was as follows : 


1911 . 



(B) Semi- Annual Terms under the Free School System 




A t 



ment of 


on an 

age of En 
in Daily 






Cost of 

Cost per 
Pupil in 











1865 . 




60 o 







1866 . 










1867 . 










1868 . 










1869 . 


74. 1 30 

43. 78 







1870 . 











1871 . 



43. 6 I2 

57 "4 





II. 81 

1872 . 

I59 2 



55 4 


95 46i 






74. 2 97 


55 "3 






1874 . 




55 "o 




5 6 9.663 






55 3 






1876 . 




5 6 3 






1877 . 










Al son 

1878 . 



48.95 1 

59 - o 










55 4 




1880 . 










1881 . 




55 i 






1882 . 




55 3 






1883 . 










1884 . 




57 5 






1885 . 









13- 5= 

1886 . 




59 6 






1887 . 










1888 . 










1889 . 




59 2 






1890 . 










1891 . 




59 "o 







1892 . 




59 8 






1 ) 



(C) Annual Terms under the Free School System 




on an 





Total Cost 
of Public 

Cost per 
pupil in 















13- 35 1 

























53 4 










54 4 










57 o 










55 5 







2 5S7 













54 5 

470, io& 









55 9 










55 9 




936,45 8 




















993, 8 44 







6 55,705 









57 i 








100, 105 












60 7 










64 3 










59 5 





21. 70 2 


The committee on Education of the house of assembly 
presented its report on March 22, 1838. It expressed itself 
in favour of a uniform provincial system and compulsory 
assessment. The population was estimated at 180,000 and 
the children of school age from 5 to 12 or from 7 to 14 
years as numbering 26,000, for which 886 teachers were 
estimated to be necessary. Among the recommendations 
was (i) the introduction of itinerating school masters in 
scattered settlements and (2) the admission of female 
teachers, who are often the most valuable that can be obtained, 
to some participation in the benefits of the law. But until 

1 In 1893 the transition was made from the school year of two terms ending 
on October 31 to the school year of one term ending on July 31. This school 
year, therefore, consisted of the nine calendar months from November i to July 
3i, 1893. 

1 These figures include the current provincial expenditure on technical edu 
cation, but not the current provincial expenditure on agricultural education, and 
grants to the Victoria School of Art and Design, the Medical College, etc. 



1865 the number of male teachers greatly exceeded the 
number of female teachers. The following table shows at 
a glance the phenomenal increase of the number of female 
teachers between 1865 and 1911 : 



Female Total 



1865 . . 




I8y0 . . 




1880 . . 




1884 . . 





iSQO . . 





1894 . . 





I9OO . . 





1902 . . 





1904 . . 





1906 . , 





I9IO . . 





I9II . . 






In 1746 the salary of a teacher was estimated by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel at 15. In the 
act of 1811 the minimum was specified at 50. In 1832 the 
minimum was reduced to 40 for a school with over thirty 
pupils, and to 25 for a smaller school. But for a class of 
superior schools the minimum of from 100 to 120 was 
necessary to qualify for the provincial grant. 



ss A 






ss D 










1879 to 1885 
1 886 to 1892 






2 7 8 


1 86 

I6 5 

1894 to 1900 






22 9 



1901 to 1907 








1909 to 1911 


















Highest Salaries 

1911 . 


1 100 









The salaries of male teachers who instruct cadet corps 
are supplemented by an allowance from the Dominion 
department of Militia and Defence. Since 1908 all applicants 
for teachers certificates, both male and female (except the 
lowest class), have been required to qualify under expert 
officers of the Militia department as instructors of physical 
training in the public schools (common and high) before 
they are licensed to teach. The system is a slight modifica 
tion of the British system, and familiarizes pupils in the 
cadet corps with the words of command used in the militia. 
The system has already been put into operation in the 
Provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and, 
indeed, in all the other provinces of Canada. 

The Teachers Annuity System enables a teacher who has 
served thirty-five years, or thirty years if the age of sixty 
is attained, to retire with the continuation of the provincial 
aid as if regularly employed. Total disability after twenty 
years service qualifies a teacher similarly. The provincial 
aid is merely the government s contribution ; and school 
sections are empowered to supplement such annuities which 
in the city of Halifax is done by a system of contributions 
from the teachers. The simplest method recommended is 
an annual or semi-annual grant from the school board to 
supplement the provincial annuity. 

The inspectors, of which there are at present (1913) twelve, 
in charge of the twelve inspectorial divisions of the province, 
have on an average a little over two hundred school depart 
ments to inspect and direct. They are appointed by the 
Council of Public Instruction on the recommendation of the 
superintendent, to whom they report monthly and annually. 
They also receive, approve, correct and tabulate the school 
returns for each division, make out the pay-sheets for the 
endorsement of the superintendent, and pay the amounts to 
each teacher and each school board. They form, practically, 
twelve local branches of the central Education office, report 
ing promptly any cases which they cannot themselves satis 
factorily deal with. They may have much administrative 
authority under the law, and are secretaries ex qfficio of the 
two or three district boards within the inspectorial division. 


The district boards are thirty-three in number. The 
origin and present powers of the district school commissioners 
have already been briefly sketched. 

The superintendent of Education is appointed by the 
lieutenant-governor in council, and is also secretary of the 
Council of Public Instruction. His general duties correspond 
somewhat to those of a deputy minister, the provincial 
secretary being the actual minister of Education. Dr 
Theodore Harding Rand was appointed superintendent of 
Education in 1864 ; the Rev. Dr A. S. Hunt in 1870 ; Dr 
David Allison in 1877 I and Dr A. H. Mackay in 1891. 

The Council of Public Instruction is the supreme authority 
under the legislature, and consists of the members of the 
executive of the provincial government, five of whom form a 
quorum. The council makes regulations for the expenditure 
of the funds appropriated for education by the legislature, 
for the classification of teachers, the prescription of school 
books and programmes of study, the management of the 
Normal and Technical Colleges, academies and schools, 
inspectors, examiners, district school commissioners, and edu 
cation matters generally. 

Since 1908 the council has been assisted by an advisory 
board of Education, five members being appointed by the 
government and two elected every two years by the teachers 
of the Provincial Educational Association. 

The director of Technical Education, who is also principal 
of the Nova Scotia Technical College, erected in Halifax, 
is appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council under 
the original act of 1907, and is under the direction of the 
Council of Public Instruction as a section of the Education 
department. Frederick H. Sexton, the director, is assisted 
in the college by the college staff, and in supervising the 
local technical schools by a special inspector. 

The college is affiliated with the various universities in 
the province and in New Brunswick and is thus enabled to 
devote its energies to only third and fourth year classes. 
The universities have adopted the prescribed standards of 
admission and of study for the first and second years of the 
courses. The Technical College thus becomes a centre of 


co-ordination and affiliation influences among the universities. 
The college equipment has cost to date $207,394. The 
ordinary running expenses for 1910 were $53,998. The 
statistics for 1911 show : Graduated from the college in 
long courses, n ; in short courses, 5 ; undergraduates, 39 ; 
attending mining and engineering schools, 535 ; attending 
the various evening technical schools, 1036. 

University co-operation is further stimulated by the new 
1 University Graduates Testing Examination established 
by the Council of Public Instruction as the scholarship 
basis of the highest (academic) class of teacher s licence. 
Graduates of universities that require a four years course 
after a matriculation standard approximating a pass on 
grade XII of the public schools (fourth year of the high 
school) are eligible for presentation at this examination on 
six of the more essential university subjects. The passes 
in the university are accepted for the other necessary sub 
jects. An effort is thus being made to avoid the waste of 
high schools overlapping the work of the too numerous and 
unequally equipped institutions with university privileges. 

The Normal College was opened in Truro as the provincial 
normal school on November 14, 1855, under the principalship 
of the Rev. Alexander Forrester, D.D., who was also super 
intendent of Education. This institution was, until 1893, 
simply a normal school in competition with the high schools, 
academies, and colleges whose courses were also adapted to 
enable teachers to pass the examinations, which was all 
that was then required to obtain a teacher s licence. After 
this date normal training became in a general way the 
equivalent of at least one year of additional scholarship in 
qualifying for a licence. Henceforward the scholarship of 
candidates for the Normal College has to be obtained in the 
high schools or colleges before admission ; and the institution 
became a professional training school a technical college. 
A course of mechanic science for the males, or of domestic 
science for the females, is imperative on all its gradu 
ates. John Burgess Calkin, LL.D., became principal on 
the death of Dr Forrester in 1869. In 1900 Dr Calkin 
retired and was succeeded by David Soloan, LL.D. 


The College of Agriculture was opened in Truro in 1885 
as the provincial school of agriculture in affiliation with the 
provincial normal school, in order to develop the industrial 
side of the teacher s training. In 1898 the college building 
was destroyed by fire. The present College of Agriculture 
absorbed the School of Horticulture established at Wolfville 
in 1893, and vastly extended the range of work previously 
attempted. In 1905, under the principalship of Melville 
Cumming, it opened its regular courses of study. Agricul 
tural education generally belongs to the department of Agri 
culture under the same provincial minister as the department 
of Education. 

Since 1908 the Rural Science School has been conducted 
annually for six weeks in July and August, under the joint 
administration of the two colleges, with the object of develop 
ing a kind of instruction more suitable to rural conditions. 
Being a vacation school, teachers can attend without inter 
rupting their regular employment. 

The Halifax Institution for the Deaf was founded in 
1851 by private benevolence, and is governed by its own 
directors. But the provincial government soon began to 
aid it, and now provides in it free education for all the deaf 
and dumb within the province. The building now occu 
pied was completed in 1895. The principals were J. Scott 
Hutton, 1857 ; Mr. Woodbridge, 1878 ; J. Scott Hutton, 
1882 ; James Fearon, 1891. In 1911 there were 103 pupils 
in attendance seventy-one from Nova Scotia, thirteen from 
Prince Edward Island, ten from Newfoundland and nine 
from New Brunswick. 

The Halifax School for the Blind was established in 1867 
and opened with four pupils in 1871 under the present 
principal, C. F. Fraser, LL.D. It is similarly related to the 
provincial government and Education department as the 
institution for the deaf. It provides for the education of 
the blind in the province of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, 
Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, from which there 
were in attendance respectively, 87, 28, 4 and 15, with I 
from the Bahamas, making 135 in all. 

There are a reformatory and an industrial school in the 


city of Halifax, and arrangements have been made for the 
admission of incorrigibles from any part of the province. 

The establishment of a special institution for the educa 
tion and care of other defectives is (1913) under consideration. 

The Victoria School of Art and Design was established in 
Halifax on the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of Her 
Majesty Queen Victoria (1887). It has been subsidized by 
the provincial government, and to a small extent by the city. 
The attendance in 1911 was forty-eight. 

The Summer School of Science for the Atlantic provinces 
of Canada originated in 1887. It is conducted in a different 
locality each year, so as to give an opportunity to study new 
grounds. The course of study lasts about three weeks and 
the session is held during the midsummer vacation. It is 
self-governed, but is in receipt of a small annual grant from 
the Education department. 

Teachers Institutes are held in the different inspectorial 
divisions of the province on alternate years with the Provincial 
Educational Association, which meets every two years. The 
Dominion Educational Association, which generally meets 
once in three years, has always been subsidized by, and 
attended by representatives from, the province. The official 
Imperial Educational Conferences the first in 1907 and the 
second in 1911, in London, England have been actively 
supported by Nova Scotia. 

The Nova Scotia Institute of Science, the Nova Scotia 
Mining Society, and the Nova Scotia Historical Society 
receive grants from the province, and submit brief annual 
reports to the Education department. 


Under regulation 28 local school boards can allow de 
votional exercises to be conducted within school hours, if 
no formal objection is made ; otherwise, immediately after the 
close of the school for those desiring to remain. Regulation 
29 prevents any local arrangement to secure unanimity for 
devotional exercises which would prevent the fullest grading 



of the schools possible, and shows how separate devotional 
exercises may be arranged for without separate schools. 


Nova Scotian Grades 




year 1910-11 

Kindergarten .... 




Grade I 




ii .... 




in .... 




,, IV .... 




v .... 




,, VI .... 






3, 6 93 

6,9 r 3 

VIII .... 




Common School 




Grade ix 





A. .... 




XI .... 








High School .... 




Total, Public Schools 

S^QS 6 



Attending Normal College . 

,, Rural Science School . 

,, Technical College 

,, Mining and Engineering Schools 

,, Evening Technical Schools . 

Agricultural College (Reg.) 





Number of School Libraries 
Value of School Libraries 

(Short Courses) 342 





IN 1767, when lands were being granted in Prince Edward 
Island, for every hundred acres provided for a church 
and glebe thirty acres in each township were reserved 
for a schoolmaster. It was not until 1821, however, that a 
national school was opened in the capital, Charlottetown. 

In 1825 the first Education Act was passed, authorizing 
the government to pay for four years one-sixth of the teachers 
salaries, and ^50 to each of the three counties as salaries 
for masters of grammar schools. The act was renewed and 
amended several times, and in 1837 John M c Neil was appointed 
the first superintendent of Education. In 1848 the general 
superintendent was displaced by county superintendents. 

The Free Education Act was passed in 1852, and provided 
for the payment of nearly the whole of the teachers salaries 
from the provincial treasury. In 1853 the general super- 
intendency for the island was re-established. In 1856 the 
Normal School was opened in the capital and in 1860 Prince 
of Wales College was established. In 1862 Alexander Ander 
son of Aberdeen was appointed to the second professor 
ship of the college and became principal in 1868. In 1874 
Donald Montgomery became principal of the Normal School. 
The Public Schools Act was passed in 1877 an d forms the 
basis of the existing system. 

The following table shows in a general way the educa 
tional and material growth of the country from 1837 to 1912 : 





1837 . . 




1841 . . 




1851 . . 




1861 . . 




1871 . . 




1881 . . . 




1891 . . 




1901 . . 




1911 . . 






The Board of Education is the supreme authority. It 
consists of the members of the executive council of the 
province, the chief superintendent of Education, who also 
acts as secretary, and the principal of Prince of Wales 
College and Normal School, who is appointed by the lieu 
tenant-governor in council. 

The board divides the province into inspectorial districts 
(three up to 1912 one for each county and lately an inspector 
for French in the bilingual schools) and into school districts, 
each of which shall include a whole city or town, or in rural 
communities into districts containing at least forty resident 
children from five to fifteen years of age, provided that the 
areas are less than four square miles. The board makes 
general regulations, determines appeals from the inspectors 
and changes the boundaries of school districts. 

The chief superintendent, subject to the Board of Educa 
tion, has the general supervision and direction of inspectors 
and schools in a word, is the general administrator of the 
educational law. Edward Manning was appointed super 
intendent of Education in 1877. In 1879 Prince of Wales 
College was opened to ladies and was amalgamated with the 
Normal School. Donald Montgomery was the same year 
appointed chief superintendent of Education, which depart 
ment he vigorously administered for the next ten years. 
The succeeding superintendents have been : J. A. Nicholson, 
appointed in 1890 ; D. J. MacLeod, in 1891 ; Dr Alexander 
Anderson, principal of Prince of Wales College, in 1901 ; 
and R. H. Campbell in 1912. Dr S. N. Robertson followed 
Dr Anderson as principal of the College and Normal School, 
which in 1911 reached its maximum annual enrolment of 
278 students. 

The inspectors, the number of whom an act introduced 
into the legislature in 1912 proposes to increase to six, are to 
visit each school at least semi-annually, direct teachers and 
trustees, and co-operate with the chief superintendent in the 
general administration of the schools. 

The teachers are paid mainly from the provincial treasury. 
The statutory yearly allowance is : male teachers first 
class $300, second class $225, third class $180 ; female 


teachers first class $230, second class $180, third class 
$130. The payments are made quarterly. After five years 
service a bonus of from ten to forty dollars, according to 
efficiency, may be granted. However, deductions are made 
when the average daily attendance of pupils falls below 
fifty per cent. 

It is recommended that these salaries be supplemented 
from the funds of the local school boards derived from the 
assessment of the amount voted by the ratepayers, at the 
annual meeting of the district, for the general support of 
the school. The local supplement as a rule is small in 
the majority of the rural districts. The following table of 
maximum, average and minimum salaries for 1911 gives a 
general idea of the actual salaries as compared with the 
provincial grant standard : 

Class of 







First . 













9 6 






Third . . 









Since the Dominion census of 1891 was taken there has 
been a marked falling off in the population of Prince Edward 
Island. However, there has been an appreciable increase in 
the number of teachers employed, and while the number of 
pupils enrolled in the schools has dropped from 22,330 in 
1891 to 17,397 in 1911, the total expenditure for education 
has grown from $120,826 to $150,006. 

In the following table a complete conspectus of the 
statistical development of education in Prince Edward Island 
for over thirty years is given : 




of Pupils 





ment Ex 






1878 . . 



. . . 


I8 79 . . 






1880 . . 



. . 



1881 . . 


. . . 

. . . 



1882 . . 



* . . 



1883 . . 





1884 . . 





1885 . . 




5 5 34 



1886 . . 







1887 . . 







1888 . . 







1889 . . 

5 l8 






1890 . . 




5 5 43 




1891 . . 








1892 . . 















1894 . . 







1895 . . 







1896 . . 







1897 . . 







1898 . . 







1899 . . 







1900 . . 




6 r86 



1901 . . 




59 34 




1902 . . 








1903 . . 







1904 . . 







1905 . . 







1906 . . 







1907 . . 







1908 . . 







1909 . . 







1910 . . 







1911 . . 








1912 . . 








The Annual School Meeting is held in every district on 
the third Tuesday in June, when moneys are voted for all 
local school purposes, and a trustee is elected in place of the 
retiring member of the board of three. The money voted is 
levied partly as a poll-tax of $i, and the remainder is assessed 
on the property of the ratepayers. The school year consists 
of two teaching terms, one ending on June 30, the other on 

1 For nine months. 


December 31. The vacations are three weeks in May and 
three weeks in October, as well as the first week in July or 
the last week in December. Charlottetown and Summerside 
arrange for their own times of vacation with the approval 
of the board. A majority vote at an annual meeting em 
powers trustees to take July and August as the vacation 

The course of study in the schools is determined by the 
board. The following statistics for 1911 give an idea of its 
scope : 

Pupils enrolled . 17,397 Composition . . 9,508 

Boys . . .9,152 Book-keeping . . 24 

Girls . . . 8,245 Music (vocal) . . 4,600 

Daily Average Attend- Drawing . . .7,831 

ance . . . 10,511 Scientific Temperance 4,148 

Primer and Book I . 5,790 Latin . . . 1,720 

Books ii and in . 6,563 French . . 3>399 

Book iv . . . 5,044 Algebra . . . 1,398 

Books v and vi . ? Geometry . . . 1,292 

Writing on paper . 16,268 Botany . . . 2,470 

Arithmetic . . 16,397 Agriculture . . 1,410 

Grammar . . 9,443 Manual Training . 292 

History . . . 6,867 Nature Study . . no 

Geography . . 9,648 Domestic Science 37 

Orthography . . 13,525 Physical Culture . 1,076 

There is a compulsory attendance law, but it is seldom 
rigorously enforced. The deaf are provided for in the 
institution at Halifax, N.S., where thirteen were enrolled 
in 1911. The blind are also provided for in the school at 
Halifax, where four were in attendance in 1911. Manual 
training and kindergartens are provided in Charlottetown 
and Summerside. 

In addition there are a few institutions independent of 
the public system, chief among which are Saint Dunstan s 
College near Charlottetown, two convent schools within the 
city, and a few in other parts of the island under the direction 
of the Roman Catholics ; and St Peter s School under the 
direction of the Church of England. 

That the school system of Prince Edward Island is 


efficient is shown by the number of scholars from the 
province who have won distinction in other parts of Canada, 
and indeed in other countries, particularly the United 
States. Effort is now being put forth to train the young 
in such a way that they will be induced to remain at home 
and assist in developing the resources and industries of the 

=^ *=!_ 




THE history of education in New Brunswick has been 
very similar to that of the other British provinces 
in North America. At first the struggle for sub 
sistence in the wilderness left the early settlers little oppor 
tunity to cultivate the social side of life or to provide their 
children with education other than that which would fit 
them to overcome the difficulties of their hard environment. 
As the strain of this rigorous life became somewhat relaxed 
schools were established. These were at first most primitive 
in character ; afterwards, with support from the mother 
country and by the aid of trained teachers, something like 
system was gradually evolved. This was achieved mainly 
through the efforts of the Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel. As the population increased and towns and 
cities were founded, the desire for better education grew 
with the increase of wealth, until there has grown up an 
elaborate system of elementary and secondary free schools 
with the University of New Brunswick at the head. 

Following the Treaty of Paris (1763), which gave the 
British possession of what is now New Brunswick and the 
colonies adjoining, a few settlers established themselves in 
the southern portions of the province, chiefly about Sackville 
and on the lower St John. These settlers, having had the 
advantages of schools in their early homes, felt the importance 
of providing for the education of their children. Many of 
the first schools established were in private houses and were 
conducted for only a few months each year. The teachers 


were chiefly of the itinerant type, many of them discharged 
soldiers and not always of good moral character. The meagre 
pittance they received as compensation obliged them to 
depend in part on other occupations for a living. The 
parents supplemented, so far as they were able, this scanty 
training by instructing their children at home during the long 
winter evenings. 

The first act (6 Geo. in, cap. 7) relating to education 
that was passed by the Nova Scotia legislature defined the 
duties and qualifications of schoolmasters and set apart four 
hundred acres of land in each township for the use of schools. 
Few accounts are preserved, except by tradition, of these 
early schools where the youth of New Brunswick a century 
and a half ago received the scanty rudiments of an education. 
School books were few and costly. The first schoolhouses 
were built of logs, the crevices stuffed with moss. These 
rude buildings were warmed by the generous fire that blazed 
in each from the old-fashioned fireplace. Bright and pic 
turesque these interiors certainly were on a cold stormy 
winter s day, and well ventilated, which is more than can be 
said of many a modern schoolroom. 

Among the loyalists who came to New Brunswick in 1783 
were men of ability and culture. Many of these had received 
a liberal education and saw the importance of providing 
schools and a college in which their children might enjoy 
similar advantages. To provide in a measure for the higher 
education, the College of New Brunswick was established in 
1800 at Fredericton. This was known afterwards as King s 
College and has since developed into the University of New 
Brunswick. At first the modest sum of 100 a year was 
granted by the legislature for its support, and crown lands in 
the vicinity of Fredericton were set apart as an endowment. 

Occasionally there were schools taught by women, but 
these were rare, for it was difficult to get a qualified woman 
teacher. The proportion of female teachers to male teachers 
in New Brunswick is now nearly eight to one. 

In 1805 the first grammar school was established in St 
John, and in 1816 an act was passed in the legislature 
authorizing one for each county of the province. The course 


of study embraced English grammar, Latin and Greek, 
orthography, the use of the globes, and mathematics. These 
schools exercised an excellent influence on the education of 
the youth of the province. 

The province owes a debt of gratitude to the labours of 
the missionaries of the Church of England, sent out by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Though the 
work done by these teachers was of the most rudimentary 
character, it was sufficient to keep alive a taste for learning 
among the people and to give the youth the advantages 
of religious instruction. The supervision exercised by the 
Church of England in education was not confined to the 
work of the missionaries scattered through the sparsely 
settled districts of the province. The teachers in the college 
at Fredericton and in the grammar schools were members 
of that church, and frequently the teacher was a man in 
holy orders, who combined the double duty of pastor and 
instructor. As would naturally be expected, the religious 
instruction given was in accordance with the principles 
and practice of the Church of England. As time went on, 
the infusion of large numbers of other denominations into 
the population, such as Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, 
Methodists and Baptists, necessitated a change, and eventu 
ally led to the establishment of a free non-sectarian system 
of education. But a half-century was to elapse before this 
was brought about. 

In 1816 an act was passed which was the germ of the free 
school system. This act provided for the appointment of 
town or parish school trustees by the general sessions and 
gave them the power to assess the inhabitants for a sum not 
less than ^30 and not more than 90 a year for the estab 
lishment and maintenance of schools in each parish or town. 
But this power to assess appears to have been considered 
too dangerous a prerogative for certain citizens to exercise 
over others, and it was withdrawn in 1818. The legislature 
authorized a grant of 100 from the provincial treasury for 
each parish, of which not more than 20 a year could be 
given to any one school. By the act of 1816 provisions 
were made for the better support of grammar schools in each 


county, and an annual grant of 150 was given to maintain 
an English department at the college at Fredericton. 


In 1820 the Madras system of schools, which had proved 
so popular in England, was introduced into New Brunswick. 
The system was a comparatively inexpensive one, for while 
there was an efficient teacher in charge of each school, the 
older scholars were employed to act as instructors to the 
younger. In a new and sparsely settled province like New 
Brunswick there was little opportunity outside the towns 
of procuring trained teachers, upon whom the success of 
the system chiefly depended, but under the Madras system 
many effective schools were established in the chief towns 
of the province. These, conducted for a decade or so, proved 
so superior to the primitive methods hitherto in vogue that 
they became very popular. Their inexpensiveness no doubt 
added to their popularity. In the year 1824 there were 
39 Madras schools in the province attended by 4736 pupils, 
of whom nearly one-third were present at the Central School 
at St John, conducted by Anthony R. Truro, while the 
girls department was conducted by his wife. 

An interesting account 1 is preserved derived from 
memoirs and accounts of those who attended the Central 
School at St John of the daily routine, which is of sufficient 
interest to be reproduced : 

There were generally some two hundred boys in at 
tendance who were taught by about a dozen teachers 
chosen from their own ranks by the master as being the 
most promising and intelligent pupils. Over the teachers 
an usher was placed, also appointed by the master, whose 
duties were analogous to those of a sergeant-major in 
the army namely, to exercise general supervision under 
direction of his superior. Truro was a grand disciplin 
arian ; everything connected with the school moved like 
clockwork and in strict accord with the rules of the 
Madras system. In his conduct towards his pupils he 

1 New Brunswick Schools of the Olden Time, by W. O. Raymond, Educa 
tional Review, vol. viii. pp. 51-2. 


was prompt and impartial in all his decisions, giving due 
credit for merit, at the same time fairly severe in the 
punishment of any breach of discipline. The duties of 
the pupils were always clearly defined. The boys them 
selves swept and dusted the room, being named for that 
duty in regular order by the master. The school hours 
were from nine to twelve in the morning, and from 
one to three in the afternoon. Promptly at the hour 
for opening, the usher mounted the platform. In the 
absence of the more modern school bell, a stamp of his 
foot commanded silence and the attention of the school. 
A moment later his hand was raised as the signal for 
prayers ; the boys knelt with hands folded whilst the 
usher repeated sentence by sentence the words of the 
Lord s Prayer, the boys all repeating each sentence after 
he had pronounced it. 

School having been opened, there followed next the 
reciting of the Church catechism. In this, as in other 
subjects, the principle of mutual tuition was adhered to, 
the boys propounding to one another the questions, 
What is your name ? Who gave you this name ? 
and so on. As the school was attended by all denomina 
tions of Christians, the response to the second question, 
My god-fathers and my god-mothers in my baptism,* 
etc., was in many cases characterized by a curious un 
reality. But it was made unhesitatingly and with equal 
promptitude both by those who had and those who had 
not god-fathers and god-mothers. 

The catechising being ended the morning session pro 
ceeded with reading, spelling and writing. The afternoon 
was devoted principally to arithmetic, or ciphering, as 
it was then called. The classes always stood to recite. 
Chalk lines were drawn on the floor by the boys appointed 
to keep the school room in order, and the pupils were 
made to toe the mark with all the steadiness of military 
discipline. ... So thoroughly was the system of disci 
pline inculcated that it was not an uncommon thing for 
the master to be absent from the room for half an hour 
at a time on business down town, during which time 
the school went on in as orderly and quiet a manner as if 
he were present. There was no recess during the morning 
or afternoon sessions of the school, the drill and exercises 
being considered sufficient to relieve the monotony of 
study. In leaving the school room the boys were accus- 


tomed to salute the master in military fashion. Children 
were admitted into the school at the age of four or five 
years, and passed thence to the grammar school. The 
Annual Examination was quite an event and was carefully 
prepared for. . . . The boys who excelled at this examina 
tion were exempt from tuition fees if they attended the 
grammar school, and received medals and other rewards 
in abundance. The boy whose general standing at the 
close of the year was highest received a handsome silver 
medal from the Madras Board. 

The course of instruction pursued at the Madras school 
in addition to primary work included such subjects as the 
history of England, Rome and Greece, the use of the 
globes and geography. . . . Major-General Smyth (the 
lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick), who was a 
talented musician, often instructed the boys in singing, 
and when present at the opening of the school (St John) 
presided at the organ. 

There is no doubt that the Madras schools were greatly 
superior to any system hitherto adopted in the province ; 
but the benefits were more apparent in the cities and towns 
than in the country districts, where the scant population 
and lack of enthusiasm, and of numbers from which to 
draw capable student-teachers, prevented them from securing 
the best results. There was considerable opposition to the 
schools among Roman Catholics, Presbyterians and adherents 
of other denominations, who were prejudiced on account of 
the character of the religious instruction given to the pupils. 
In spite of the rapid increase of the Madras schools, it was 
found that in the year 1824 only about one- third of the 
children of school age in the province were in attendance at 
school, and of these only one-third were present daily on an 


In 1845 a valuable report on the condition of education 
was submitted to the legislature of New Brunswick by a 
commission which had been appointed the previous year. 
It appeared from this report that there were five hundred 
schools in the province in 1844-45 with an enrolled attend- 


ance of 15,924 pupils, which shows that people were avail 
ing themselves of the educational opportunities that were 
afforded to the extent at least that one out of every twelve 
of the population was at school. Out of this report grew an 
act, passed by the legislature in 1847, for the better organiza 
tion of the educational system. A board of education was 
formed consisting of the governor and members of the 
executive council, who were empowered to establish normal 
and model schools, appoint two inspectors of schools for the 
province, and to create agencies for the sale of school books. 
To secure a uniform system of teaching it was necessary to 
train and license a body of teachers, and a normal and model 
school was opened at Fredericton with J. Marshall d Avray 
as principal, another at St John under the principalship of 
Edmund Hillyer Duval, and, later, one at Chatham with 
William Crocket as principal. Boards of examiners were 
appointed, and on the favourable reports of these and of 
the principals of the normal schools licences to teach were 
granted. A duly trained licensed teacher of the first class 
received an allowance from the government of ^50 a year ; 
a second class teacher received 22 ; and a third class teacher 
;i8. An allowance for board and travelling expenses was 
made to each student-teacher attending the normal school ; 
but in the more remote districts the services of untrained 
teachers were retained, and this practice was continued for 
many years, gradually growing less as the superior efficiency 
of trained teachers was demonstrated. 

A little more than half a century had witnessed a con 
siderable development in the educational progress of the 
province. Under the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel teachers were licensed by the Bishop of London ; 
in 1847 the province was training and licensing its own 
teachers ; it was also supporting a system of education, the 
Church of England Society having withdrawn its aid in the 
year 1836. Meanwhile, as the population increased and the 
province became more prosperous, the need was felt of a 
more liberal educational policy. This was realized a few 
years later in the passing of an act securing a free unde 
nominational system of education. 


In 1815, thirty-one years after New Brunswick had 
become a separate province, there were few schools. The 
annual government grant for the support of parish schools 
was then only ^375. There were not more than forty 
schools outside the city of St John. During the next fifteen 
years a very considerable improvement was made by the 
liberal provisions of the act of 1816, already referred to, by 
which the government voted about 3000 for the support 
of schools, a notable advance on 375. An era of school- 
house building began and extended over the province, the 
government granting aid to the movement. Two lieutenant- 
governors, at least, Major-General George Stracey Smyth and 
Sir Howard Douglas, used their influence to advance educa 
tion. The Madras system gave a great stimulus in favour of 
common schools. Better system was secured by the division 
of parishes into districts. The establishment of a normal 
school for the training of teachers, the appointment of 
inspectors to secure better results for money expended and 
more efficient teaching, and of a chief superintendent as a 
responsible executive head, introduced order and system in 
the management of educational affairs. 

The first superintendent of Education was the Rev. 
James Porter, who was appointed in 1852 and who resigned 
towards the close of the following year. His successor was 
J. Marshall d Avray, the principal of the normal school, 
who held the office until 1858, when Henry Fisher was 
appointed. Fisher, after a brief but efficient service of less 
than two years, died and was succeeded by Dr John Bennet. 
A normal school for the whole province was continued at 
Fredericton under the principalship of William Crocket, 
the normal schools at St John and Chatham having been 
closed in 1870. 


A new era in the educational progress of the province 
began in 1871, when an act providing for a free non-sectarian 
system of schools was passed in the legislature, and became 
operative on January I of the following year. The purpose 


of this act was to establish a well-equipped system of schools 
with a quality of instruction that should serve for the 
children of the rich and poor alike, the cost to be borne by a 
continuation of the government grant to teachers, a county 
assessment at a fixed rate by which the more prosperous 
districts aided in supporting the schools in the poorer dis 
tricts, and an assessment on the inhabitants of each district 
according to its needs. Lands, schoolhouses and apparatus 
were to be provided by each district, and trustees were 
authorized to raise money by debentures for school pur 
poses. The general supervision and administrative control 
of the schools, the framing of courses of instruction and 
the choice of text-books lay with the provincial authori 
ties. A government inspector was appointed for each of the 
fourteen counties ; later this number was reduced to eight. 
Trustees in the country districts were appointed by the 
ratepayers, and in the cities and incorporated towns partly 
by the lieutenant-governor in council and partly by the city 
or town council. 

The Free School Act was largely due to the efforts of the 
Hon. George E. King (afterwards Justice King of the Supreme 
Court of Canada), attorney-general of New Brunswick, and 
later the premier. Although districts had been empowered 
by the Parish School Act of 1852 to assess themselves for the 
support of schools, not a single county or parish had availed 
itself of the provisions of the act, and only here and there 
a district had ventured to do so ; and when they did, it too 
often resulted in complications and ill-feeling, and developed 
either an active opposition or a general lukewarmness in 
regard to the principle of assessment. Many people of means 
opposed assessment because their families were grown up, 
and they, as they said, would not receive any benefit from 
the law. Many adherents of the Church of England, which 
in the early history of the province had the control of educa 
tion, objected to the non-sectarian clause. But the most 
strenuous opposition came from the Roman Catholics, who 
claimed a share of the public money for the support of their 
separate schools. Several attempts were made to deny the 
validity of the law both before the Dominion House of 



Commons and the Privy Council of England, but these 
bodies refused to interfere in a matter which was the concern 
of provincial legislation. 

In the working out of the provisions of the Free School Act 
in local circles the exercise of tact and the spirit of fair play 
prevailed. An arrangement was gradually reached in the 
cities and towns by which the children of Roman Catholic 
parents received religious instruction from their own teachers 
in the schoolrooms after hours ; the school trustees rented 
for school purposes the buildings owned by the Catholics ; 
and the Sisters of Charity were allowed to appear in their 
own garb in certain schools in which the daughters of 
Catholic parents were taught. 

Theodore H. Rand 1 was appointed chief superintendent 
of Education when the new law went into force. He had 
held the same position in Nova Scotia during the first years 
of the free school law in that province. Dr Rand was an 
excellent organizer, and his activity, executive ability and 
experience proved very effective in fostering the system of 
free schools, which has been a great stimulus to education 
in the province. Dr William Crocket, who succeeded Dr 
Rand, proved a careful and judicious administrator. His 
knowledge of educational conditions joined to his long experi 
ence as a successful teacher enabled him to render valuable 
service while the free school system was yet in its infancy. 

Dr J. R. Inch, president of Mount Allison University, 
became chief superintendent on Dr Crocket s retirement in 
1891 and held the office for eighteen years. During these 
years some notable advances marked the educational history 
of the province. Secondary education, which like elementary 
education is free, was improved and extended. A more 
modern and practical turn has been given to education by 
the establishment of consolidated schools and the intro 
duction of manual training, domestic science and school 
gardening. These improved conditions have been made 
possible through the generosity of Sir William Macdonald 
of Montreal and his organizing officer, Professor J. W. 
Robertson, by whose means a manual training department 

1 See p. 421. 


was established in the provincial normal school in 1900. 
Following this movement for the instruction of the student- 
teachers, manual training, domestic science and school gar 
dening have been introduced into many schools, chiefly in 
the consolidated schools and in cities and towns. There are 
also several well-conducted schools in rural sections in which 
manual training and school gardening are features, to the 
manifest improvement of the communities in which they exist. 

The first consolidated school in New Brunswick was 
formed at Kingston, Kings County, by the union of six rural 
districts. It was maintained for three years by Sir William 
Macdonald, and the entire conduct of the school was super 
vised by Professor Robertson. Children living at a distance 
were conveyed to school in vans, half the cost being borne 
by government. Manual training, domestic science, school 
gardening, in addition to the usual subjects of instruction, 
were taught. Specially trained teachers, or those who had 
special gifts for teaching, were secured, and the school and 
its work soon became an object-lesson, which attracted 
visitors from other portions of the province and elsewhere. 
Liberal grants have been made by the government for the 
continuation of the school at Kingston and for the other 
consolidated schools that have been established at Florence- 
ville, Riverside and Hampton. The local boards have made 
very generous provision for the support of these schools, and 
in one instance for the school at Riverside a contribution 
of $5000 was made by the Hon. A. R. M c Clelan towards 
building the schoolhouse. 

In 1909 Dr W. S. Carter became chief superintendent of 
Education on the retirement of Dr Inch. A notable advance 
has since been made in providing for what no doubt is the 
most liberal pension scheme for teachers of any province 
in Canada. The act of the legislature of 1910 provides for 
those who have taught for thirty-five years a pension equal 
to half their annual salary for the last five years of their 
teaching, the pension not to exceed in any case four hundred 
dollars a year. In the same year the legislature made pro 
vision for a system of physical training in schools. Drill 
instruction is given to student-teachers in the normal school, 


and for other teachers at various centres. To aid in this 
movement, which has for its object the moral and physical 
betterment of the future men and women of Canada, Lord 
Strathcona, the Dominion high commissioner in London, 
has contributed $500,000 to form The Strathcona Trust 
Fund to encourage physical drill in schools of the Dominion 
by giving prizes for excellence, and to aid in the formation 
and training of cadet companies wherever possible. 

Since the introduction of free schools the Educational 
Statistics show an increase of teachers from 872 in 1871 to 
1984 in 1910 ; of pupils enrolled from 32,025 to 62,994 ; of 
provincial expenditure from $90,933.67 to $251,790.97. Dur 
ing this period nearly 10,000 student-teachers graduated from 
the normal school. 

Previous to 1870 the normal school of the province 
had been in three divisions the main division at St John 
with branches at Fredericton and Chatham. In that year 
Fredericton was chosen as the location of the provincial 
normal school, of which William Crocket was appointed 
principal. The old Stone Barracks, which had served for 
the accommodation of the school in previous years, proved 
entirely inadequate, and a new building was erected and 
opened in 1877. Since that time the attendance has gradu 
ally increased until now it is between three hundred and 
fifty and four hundred a year. There is in each year one 
session of nearly nine months duration. In 1883 Dr Crocket 
resigned the principalship to become chief superintendent 
of Education, and Eldon Mullin was appointed his successor 
and held the position for eighteen years, resigning to accept 
an educational appointment in South Africa. Dr Crocket 
again assumed the principalship on the resignation of Eldon 
Mullin, having, during the years following his retirement 
from the office of chief superintendent of Education, held 
the position of professor of classical languages in Morrin 
College, Quebec. In 1906 Dr Crocket retired on account of 
advancing years, his long and faithful services in education 
being rewarded by a pension from government. Dr Crocket s 
place as principal of the normal school was filled by the 
appointment of H. V. B. Bridges. 



The provincial university the University of New Bruns 
wick has grown out of the college founded at Fredericton 
in 1800 and incorporated as the College of New Bruns 
wick. This served for some years as the grammar school 
for the county of York, but in 1820 a course of study was 
arranged leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and 
the Rev. James Somerville, the preceptor of the grammar 
school, was appointed president. The degree of B.A. was 
conferred on two students, its first graduates, in 1828. 

Under the capable administration of Governor Sir Howard 
Douglas the college took on new life. Chiefly through 
Douglas s exertions the sum of 6000 was secured from the 
royal revenues for the erection of a suitable building to 
accommodate the professors and students, and an annual 
sum of ^2200 ($8800) was granted by the provincial govern 
ment for maintenance. The fine stone building, opened for 
the first convocation in 1828, occupies a beautiful and 
commanding position overlooking the city of Fredericton 
and the surrounding country, and still serves the purpose of 
a main building for the university. Much needed accom 
modation was provided by the erection of a science building 
in 1900. In 1907 the grant of $8800, which has remained 
stationary for eighty years, was enlarged by the addition of 
$5000. The annual grant is now fixed at $17,000 a modest 
revenue when the expanded work of the university is 

By the royal charter of 1829 the name of King s College 
was given to the institution. The Church of England still 
exercised the controlling influence, as it had done since the 
foundation of the college and continued to do up to the 
year 1860, when a more liberal policy was initiated. The 
college then became undenominational and the name was 
changed to the University of New Brunswick. Dr Edwin 
Jacob was president of the institution during its entire 
lifetime as King s College, in which it graduated about one 
hundred men whose influence was profoundly felt in the 
business and professional life of the country. 


During the years that have elapsed since 1860 the scope 
and usefulness of the university have been gradually enlarged 
under successive presidents Dr W. Brydone Jack, Dr. 
Thomas Harrison and the present incumbent, Dr Cecil C. 
Jones, now called the chancellor. The office of president 
is now vested in the chief superintendent of Education, a 
fact that shows the closeness of the connection in recent 
years between the university and the school system of the 
province. Many of the public school teachers are graduates 
of the university, and there is a growing desire among those 
entering the teaching profession to avail themselves of the 
advantages which its training affords. New courses have 
been established, meeting fresh needs in the industrial and 
professional life. In addition to the course in arts, there are 
the following courses in applied science : civil engineering, 
electrical engineering and forestry, all leading to degrees 
and with a generous range of electives. The departments 
of physics and chemistry have been greatly improved, like 
wise the departments of English language and literature 
and modern languages. With a more liberal endowment 
and a fuller appreciation of the requirements of a community 
in the making, like New Brunswick, the university may 
prove a larger factor in its culture and the development of 
its resources. 

The control exercised by the Church of England over 
King s College at Fredericton led to the establishment of 
denominational colleges throughout the Maritime Provinces. 
In 1838 the Baptists founded Acadia College at Wolfville ; 
in 1841 the Methodists laid the foundations of the Mount 
Allison institutions at Sackville, and in 1864 St Joseph s 
College, Memramcook, was founded for the higher education 
of the French Acadians and other Roman Catholics. These 
were supported in part by the fees of students, but chiefly 
by the benefactions of generous givers. One of these colleges 
received a small provincial grant, but this was withdrawn 
on the passage of the Free School Act in 1871. 




IT may justly be claimed that no fishing grounds in the 
world are so favourably situated, or so well adapted 
for the maintenance of the most valuable varieties of 
commercial fishes, as those adjacent to the shores of Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. 
This claim will doubtless be conceded by any one who cares 
to study the geographical position and the configuration of 
the seaboard of the provinces named. The cold Arctic 
currents, which flow over the many submarine plateaus 
situated in the North Atlantic within easy distance of these 
shores, bring with them vast quantities of the finest fish- 
food, and produce a temperature most suitable for the life 
and growth of the great commercial fishes ; while the enor 
mous number of sheltered bays and large inlets veritable 
breeding places into many of which flow great rivers full 
of anadromous fish life, contain abundant supplies of food 
for the attraction and sustenance of all kinds of salt-water 

The coast-line of Eastern Canada bordering on these 
fishing areas is of great length. Without taking into account 
the lesser bays and indentations, it measures, from the inter 
national boundary-line at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy 
to the Labrador boundary, more than 5000 miles. Along 
this great stretch are to be found innumerable natural har 
bours and coves, perfectly sheltered and in close proximity 
to one another, affording incomparable facilities for the 
formation of fishing settlements and for the carrying on of 


fishing operations with the least possible expense, risk and 

From whatever point of view the magnificent fishing 
waters of Eastern Canada are regarded, whether as a means 
of providing and maintaining a distinct industry, such as 
breeds hardy, skilful seamen, or as a means of supplementing 
the earnings of those dwellers by the seashore who engage 
in the necessarily limited cultivation of the soil, they present 
themselves as a splendid asset, which forms one of Canada s 
finest natural resources. 


The fishery was the chief means of first drawing Europeans 
to the entrance to the Gulf of St Lawrence, thus leading 
ultimately to the discovery of the great river and the fertile 
lands through which it flows. Information of the extra 
ordinary abundance of cod on the Grand Banks, which 
lie southward of Newfoundland and eastward of Nova 
Scotia, was, no doubt, first brought to Europe by the Basque 
sailors, who, it is evident, crossed the stormy Atlantic and 
fished amid the ice and fog of its western side long before 
Cartier navigated the St Lawrence River. The earliest and 
finest description of the cod fishery as prosecuted by the 
fishermen of Northern France on the Grand Banks, and of 
the first efforts towards the establishment of a sedentary 
fishery on the shores of Acadia, is given to us by Nicolas 
Denys in his Description and Natural History of the Coasts 
of North America (1672). In these early days fishermen 
from Normandy and Brittany, manning from 200 to 250 
vessels, with crews of from fifteen to eighteen men, engaged 
yearly in the bank fishery for cod. On being equipped 
with six months provisions and loaded up with salt at their 
home port, the vessels, in the words of Denys, set sail, and 
went by the grace of God to find the " Grand Bank." The 
desired bank having been found, the vessels were allowed 
to drift with the wind and tide, while each fisherman, stand 
ing in a barrel fixed to the outside of the bulwarks, worked 
two hand-lines. Cod was, of course, the fish sought for. 


Some vessels completed loading in a month or six weeks, 
while others took three, four or five months. Each vessel, 
as it finished loading, proceeded to France with the split 
and salted fish, which was known as green cod. The 
catch of a vessel in a season usually ran from thirty to fifty 
thousand fish, according to the number of its crew. 

When a fisherman in those days made from thirty-six to 
forty-eight dollars in a voyage of five or six months duration, 
including time of loading and discharging, it was considered 
not at all bad. Looking backwards from the big-earning 
days of the present, one wonders how men could be found to 
face such hardships as a fishing voyage from Europe to the 
Grand Banks entailed, for such slight remuneration. 


At first the cod fishery was prosecuted as an off-shore 
fishery entirely. By and by, however, when to some extent 
the coasts of New France had been explored, it was realized 
that every creek and cove of the shore was just as abundantly 
stocked with cod as the Grand Bank itself, and so it came 
about that many of the fishing vessels from France, instead 
of remaining on the banks in the open Atlantic, sought some 
sheltered harbour, where they were moored and stripped of 
their sails. 

The crews lived on shore in a building whose walls were 
constructed of fir branches interlaced with stakes four or 
five feet in height, and whose roof consisted of one of the 
ship s sails. Notwithstanding the rudeness of such a struc 
ture, it no doubt was to the crew a welcome change from 
the cramped accommodation of the fishing craft of that 
early day. 

Fishing operations were carried on from the shore in boats 
brought out in sections from France the vessels that 
brought them being used in the meantime as store-ships for 
provisions and salt. These boats went out from the harbour 
or creek at dawn, anchored where cod were found plentiful, 
and returned in the evening, when the day s catch was split 
and salted. The fish were dried, and at the end of the 


season placed on board the vessels, which then set sail for 
France, taking all hands back with them. 

This method of conducting the fishery was much more 
expensive than that of fishing on the banks, owing to the 
fact that the vessels required to bring out double crews, 
one to man the boats and perform the actual work of catching 
the fish, and the other to split, salt and attend to the drying 
of it on shore. 

In the course of time many of the fishermen took native 
women as wives, and remained on the western side of the 
Atlantic during winter instead of returning to Europe in the 
vessels. Thus began the growth of many of those fishing 
villages that now dot the shores of Eastern Canada. 

Nicolas Denys was the first of those pioneer Frenchmen 
to realize the possibilities underlying a proper prosecution 
of the shore fisheries of New France by the establishment of 
a sedentary or fixed fishery ; and, in spite of misfortune and 
obstacles that would have driven most men to abandon all 
hope of forming such a fishery, he persisted in his efforts until 
at last he did successfully establish stations at several points 
along the Gulf shore. 

Denys s first attempt to create a sedentary fishery was 
made in the year 1633 at Port Rossignol, now known as 
Liverpool Bay, Nova Scotia. The fishery was so successful 
that in the following year he and de Razilly, the commander- 
in-chief of the French forces in Acadia, who was a partner 
in the venture, bought a 2OO-ton ship in France, and had 
her equipped for the fishery and brought to them at Port 
Rossignol. The fishery was again successful, and the new 
ship, loaded with the dried product, was sent to Oporto in 
Portugal, where the cargo was sold to advantage. For some 
reason the Portuguese authorities seized the vessel together 
with the proceeds of the sale of the cargo an action for 
which Denys failed to obtain satisfaction. Thus ended his 
first efforts. 

Being quite undaunted by this disaster, he later bought 
from the Company of New France, chiefly for fishery pur 
poses, a grant of the coasts and islands in the Gulf of St 
Lawrence from Cape Canso to Cape Rosier, including Cape 


Breton, Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands. 
In the year 1654 the king of France made Denys governor 
and lieutenant-general over that great territory, with the 
monopoly of the establishment of a sedentary fishery ; and 
so we next find him with headquarters at Chedabucto 
(Guysboro Harbour, N.S.), then later at St Peters in Cape 
Breton, where his buildings were destroyed by fire, and 
finally at Nipisiguit (Bathurst, N.B.), putting into effect his 
ideas as to the most profitable manner of prosecuting the 
fishery, and laying the foundation of an extensive sedentary 
shore fishery. 

During the struggle between France and Great Britain 
for mastery in the New World, fishing establishments were 
so frequently seized and destroyed that development was 
retarded, and the industry reduced to a most uncertain and 
unprofitable business. 


Immediately after the final conquest and settlement in 
1760, the attention of an enterprising merchant of the Island 
of Jersey was directed to the cod fishery of the new country 
in the west, with the result that he embarked on the business, 
and soon established fishing and curing centres on various 
parts of Cape Breton and the Gulf coasts. His enterprise 
and success, giving to the industry the necessary impetus 
and direction, drew into it other adventurers from the 
Channel Islands, who, by their admirable system of conduct 
ing the operations of catching and curing the fish, rapidly 
amassed considerable fortunes. With the advent of these 
Jersey merchants the fishery began to expand, and to assume 
for the first time something of real importance. It has to 
be noted, however, that the attention of the Jersey firms 
was devoted entirely to the cod fishery. In fact it is recorded 
that they discouraged the catching and curing of any other 
kind of fish, and even refused to supply salt to fishermen 
who attempted to do so. For this reason the herring and 
mackerel fisheries in many parts of the Gulf of St Lawrence 
remained entirely neglected for many years. 


The coming of the loyalists from the United States at 
the close of the War of Independence greatly increased the 
meagre population of Eastern Canada. These people settled 
mainly along the coast, and no doubt intended following 
agriculture as a means of obtaining a livelihood ; but finding, 
on the one hand, such a wealth of fish at their very doors, 
and, on the other, that the climatic conditions of their new 
homes in the north were not so conducive to easy farming 
as were those of their old homes in the south, most of them 
soon gave up all thought of cultivating the soil, and took to 
fishing as the surest and simplest means of supplying their 
immediate wants. Thus many fishing villages sprang into 
being on all parts of the coast, each adding to the importance 
of the now rapidly growing industry. Independent boat 
fishing soon became common, and in the fulness of time, 
with the increase of population, all kinds of fish were being 
taken and marketed. 

For nearly a hundred years following the arrival of the 
loyalists, fishermen resident in Canada, owing to the abund 
ance of fish in the coastal waters, practically confined their 
operations to inshore fishing. Lunenburg, for example, 
which to-day is the chief seat of the Canadian deep-sea or 
bank fishery, had in the year 1850 a fleet of ten vessels 
fishing on the Labrador coast which, though far from the 
home port, was after all only an inshore fishery. But 
previous to the year 1873 it had not a single vessel engaged 
in the deep-sea fishery. In this year, out of a fleet of fifteen 
vessels, five sailed for the bank fishery for the first time. 
The venture was not originally crowned with general success ; 
but by dint of perseverance and the inspiration of individual 
successes, the fishery gradually increased, until it is now 
prosecuted with remarkable vigour and success in a great 
fleet of beautiful, yacht-like vessels, mostly built and owned 
in Lunenburg. Thus the fisheries of Eastern Canada, at 
the present time, fall into two distinct divisions : the deep- 
sea and the inshore or coastal fisheries. 



The inshore fishery is by far the more important of the 
two, inasmuch as it employs about eight men for one that 
is employed in the deep-sea fishery. Many of the inshore 
fishermen, however, divide their time and attention between 
farming and fishing. This is rendered possible by the 
extreme abundance of all kinds of fish in the waters that 
wash the shores of the numerous finely sheltered harbours 
and bays around which the fishing and farming settlements 

The inshore fishery is carried on at a distance of from 
one to five miles from the shore, in boats carrying two and 
sometimes three men. A small class of vessels, with crews 
of from four to seven men, is also used on the nearer banks 
which lie twelve to fifteen miles out ; while many fixed 
fishing contrivances, such as traps, drag-seines and weirs, 
are operated from the shore. The methods of capture 
practised by boat fishermen and small-vessel fishermen are 
hand-lining, trawling, and gill-net fishing. 

The hand-line is the most common kind of gear used 
inshore for the capture of cod and like fish. It consists of a 
single line with a lead sinker and one or more hooks, which 
are baited and thrown over the side of the vessel or boat. 
So soon as a fish is felt tugging at the line it is hauled in. 
One man attends to two or three lines at the same time. 
A trawl consists of a line of any desired length, to which are 
attached, at intervals of about a fathom, short lengths of 
line called snoods, on the end of each of which is a hook. 
When baited and set in the water, the trawl is buoyed, and 
anchored at both ends. Although many of the smaller 
vessels carry one or two gill-nets for the purpose of catching 
their own bait, as a general rule gill-nets are anchored 
near the shore and operated by boat fishermen. Boats 
engaged in the line fishery leave harbour about daybreak 
and return in the course of the afternoon ; while vessels 
of the small class remain two days and sometimes a week 
on the fishing grounds before returning to harbour. 


The kinds of fish taken from the inshore waters are cod, 
hake, haddock, pollock, halibut, herring, mackerel, shad, 
alewives, smelts, flounders, swordfish, sardines, salmon, 
lobsters, oysters and clams. Herring is the chief bait, but 
when these are scarce clams are largely used as a substitute. 
Squid, a kind of cuttle-fish, when obtainable, is a favourite 


The deep-sea or bank fishery is pursued in substantial 
fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessels of from sixty to one hundred 
tons, carrying crews of from twelve to twenty men. These 
vessels operate on the many shallow stretches known as 
banks that lie between the outer edge of the inshore area 
and the deeper waters of the Atlantic, ranging from the 
* Grand Banks lying southward of Newfoundland to Brown s 
Bank off the western end of Nova Scotia ; and also on the 
many banks in the Gulf of St Lawrence, around the Magdalen 
Islands, and between Cape Breton and Newfoundland. 

Trawls are used almost entirely in the deep-sea fishery. 
Each vessel, according to the size and number of her crew, 
carries from six to ten flat-bottomed small boats called 
dories, from which the lines are set and hauled. Owing 
to their peculiar build, the dories are singularly safe in a 
rough sea. When a vessel has reached the desired fishing 
locality the anchor is let down, lines are baited and dories 
launched. Each dory carries two men, who proceed to 
set their length of line. Half the complement of dories 
run out on one side of the vessel and half on the other ; 
and in this way a considerable part of the fishing bank is 
covered with baited hooks. After a short interval the lines 
are overhauled by the men in the dories, and the fish 
removed from the hooks and taken to the vessel, where they 
are split, washed and salted down in the hold. This pro 
cedure continues day after day till the vessel s hold is full 
of salted fish, or the supply of salt gives out, when she returns 
to land and disposes of her take. A supply of herring or 
squid bait sufficient to last to the end of the voyage, if such 
a quantity can be had, is taken on board before leaving 


port. If the supply is short and gives out, the vessel is 
compelled to weigh anchor and proceed to land for a new 
supply, which in the summer time is often exceedingly hard 
to get. Many a vessel s crew loses two or three weeks of the 
finest fishing weather sailing from port to port searching for 
bait. The kinds of fish taken by vessels on the off-shore 
grounds are cod, haddock, hake and halibut. 


In giving figures to show the growth of the fisheries 
of Eastern Canada, the writer has deemed it unsafe to go 
back beyond the year 1870 : since that date fairly reliable 
statistics have been collected annually by Dominion officers. 
In the course of the fifteen years from 1870 to 1885 a steady 
advance was maintained in the value and importance of the 
fisheries of the four eastern provinces. The value of all 
kinds of fish caught by the fishermen of those provinces 
during the former year amounted to the sum of $6,312,409, 
while in the latter year the value rose to no less a sum 
than $15,302,243. This increase, however, must be largely 
accredited to the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Bruns 
wick : the value of the catch in the former province advanced 
from $4,019,425 in 1870 to $8,283,922 in 1885, while that of 
the catch in the latter province advanced from $1,131,433 
in 1870 to $4,005,431 in 1885. The fisheries of the Province 
of Quebec were valued at $1,161,551 in the year 1870, but 
in the year 1885 the production only advanced to $1,719,460. 
No reliable returns were made of the fisheries of Prince 
Edward Island previous to the year 1873. The value in 
that year was $207,595, but in 1885 it rose to $1,293,430. 
In the four provinces there were employed during the year 
1870 on board of vessels and boats 27,385 fishermen, while at 
the end of the fifteen-year period in 1885 there were 9362 
fishermen on board of vessels and 42,136 fishermen in boats. 

In studying the results of the fisheries of the same four 
provinces during the period from 1885 to 1910, the discovery- 
is made that little or no progress took place during these 
twenty-five years. The aggregate value of all kinds of fish 


f mi am , ureE 


landed in the last year of the twenty-five-year period was 
$I5>763>4 18 , which shows an increase of only $461,175 over 
the value of the year 1885. In the year 1910 there were 
6263 fishermen on board of vessels and 45,918 fishermen in 
boats, making an aggregate increase of only 683 men engaged 
in the fisheries in the course of a quarter of a century. 

These figures bring to light a rather serious state of 
stagnation, some of the causes of which are discussed in 
another part of this article. Before proceeding further, 
however, it may be mentioned that there are now numerous 
indications of further advancement by the introduction of 
improved methods of preparing the fish for market, and by 
the opening of new outlets, especially for fresh fish. 


Of all branches of the fisheries of Eastern Canada the 
most important is the cod fishery. Apart from the large 
number of men employed in the actual catching of the fish, 
it furnishes employment to thousands of people of both 
sexes in preparing and marketing the product, and so far 
as money value is concerned remains the leading industry 
of the Atlantic coast. The cod-fishing season is of varying 
length, being longest in the Bay of Fundy district and on 
the south coast of Nova Scotia, where the climate is not 
quite so severe as in the Gulf of St Lawrence. Its average 
duration may be said to extend from about the middle of 
April to the middle of November. 

The inshore waters of every mile of Canada s Atlantic 
coast-line abound with cod, and from these waters fisher 
men in boats and small vessels take at least two-thirds of the 
whole of Canada s cod-fish production. The counties along 
the south shore of Nova Scotia produce the largest quantities 
of this fish. The majority of the fishermen of these counties 
give their whole time and attention to fishing, and are in 
possession of a fine type of fishing boat. These facts account 
for their success in this as in other branches of the industry. 
Of all the cod-fishing waters of Eastern Canada, probably 
the most prolific are those of the Gulf of St Lawrence, around 






the Magdalen Islands, on the north and east coasts of Prince 
Edward Island and the north coast of Cape Breton, and in 
Chaleur Bay. In addition to this the shores of the Gulf are 
rendered exceptionally advantageous for fish-drying, owing 
to their immunity from the fogs that sweep in upon the 
southern or Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia ; and there can 
be no doubt that but for the inferior type of boat used, 
and the fact that many of the fishermen around the shores 
of the Gulf cease operations during the very height of the 
season to attend to the work of the farm, the value of the 
cod fishery of that part of Eastern Canada could be enor 
mously increased. 

The catches of both the inshore boat fishermen and the 
off-shore vessel fishermen are almost all split and salted 
for drying purposes. There is a vast difference, however, 
between the dried products of the two modes of fishing. 
Cod that is split and salted on board of a deep-sea fishing 
vessel is heavily salted, in order to preserve it during the 
fishing voyage, which sometimes lasts a couple of months ; 
and being so thoroughly impregnated with salt, it does not 
make good dried fish, and is apt to become slimy when 
transported to hot climates. On the other hand, inshore 
or boat fish is brought to land daily, split, and placed under 
salt for a short time only, after which it undergoes the 
process of drying in the open. The curing is, therefore, due 
less to the salt than to the action of the sun and air. Fish 
cured in this manner may be safely exported to hot climates 
and stored there without deteriorating. For the proper 
drying of cod, fine, dry weather is an indispensable factor. 
On the shores of the Bay of Fundy and on the southern coast 
of Nova Scotia, owing to the frequency of fog consider 
able difficulty is experienced at times in getting fish quickly 
and thoroughly dried. This difficulty was largely overcome 
some years ago by the invention, by a Nova Scotia fish 
merchant, of an artificial fish-drier. The advantage of the 
artificial system lies in the fact that fish can be cured to 
any hardness in a very short time. The sun and air process 
occupies about three weeks, while artificial drying can be 
accomplished in forty-eight hours. An artificial drier con- 


sists of a system of steam or hot-water piping, over which 
are laid trays containing the fish. The fish are submitted to 
a temperature of from 90 to 95 Fahrenheit for a few hours, 
and when thoroughly warmed, alternate currents of cool 
and warm air are forced over and under them, the moisture 
being carried off in the meantime by suitable ventilators. 

The chief markets for the dried product are found in 
Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, the West Indies and the 
United States. The largest and best fish are sent to Europe 
and Brazil, and the inferior kinds to the West Indies. In 
recent years a large and widening outlet has been found both 
at home and abroad for the dried article in the form of small 
briquettes, minus bones and skin, which are known as bone 
less cod. An increasing quantity of cod pickled but not 
dried is shipped to Quebec and Montreal for consumption 
there in that condition. A considerable quantity is consumed 
fresh, not only in the coast towns, but in many of the inland 
towns and cities as well ; and with improved transportation 
facilities this quantity could be greatly increased. 

The total value of cod taken by the fishermen of Eastern 
Canada during the year 1910 amounted to $3,847,844. 
To that total Nova Scotia contributed $2,599,349 ; New 
Brunswick, $337,692 ; Prince Edward Island, $98,281 ; 
and Quebec, $812,522. 


These fish are taken largely by the inshore fishermen 
while fishing for cod. Haddock are found abundantly in the 
Bay of Fundy, in the waters along the whole of the Atlantic 
coast of Nova Scotia, and in the southern portions of the 
Gulf of St Lawrence ; but they do not frequent the northern 
shore of the Gulf. Considerable quantities are taken through 
out the spring and summer by the cod boats ; but it is 
in the latter part of the year that the chief haddock fishery 
takes place. At this time the fish swarm into the bays 
and harbours of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and great 
catches are made by boat fishermen. During the spring 
and summer months haddock are, for the most part, split 


and dried in the same manner as cod, and are marketed 
chiefly in the West Indies. In the fall of the year and 
in early winter they are nearly all shipped in a fresh state, 
or smoked, as finnan haddies, to the inland towns and 
cities of Canada. The total catch of haddock in Eastern 
Canada during the year 1910 produced 111,705 cwts of 
dried and 25,839 cwts of finnan haddies, while 109,734 
cwts were shipped inland in a fresh state, the aggregate 
value of all these amounting to $829,553. The greater part 
of this haddock value was produced by Nova Scotia. Its 
share amounted to no less than $728,139, while New Bruns 
wick produced $90,512 worth, and Prince Edward Island 
and Quebec $4911 and $5991 respectively. 

Hake also abound in all the coastal waters of Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and 
are taken on the lines of the cod fisherman while fishing for 
cod. They are split, salted and dried, and, being an inferior 
class of fish, are shipped almost entirely to the cheaper 
markets of the West Indies. Hake to the value of $367,438 
were caught by the fishermen of Eastern Canada during 1910, 
Nova Scotia contributing $272,127, New Brunswick $61,646, 
Prince Edward Island $32,415 and Quebec $1250. 

Pollock are abundant only in the waters along the Atlantic 
coast of Nova Scotia and in the Bay of Fundy, especially 
near Grand Manan and the other islands of the bay. Like 
hake, they are split and dried, and marketed in the West 
Indies. The value of pollock taken during 1910 amounted to 
$3 2 5>533 to which total Nova Scotia contributed no less than 


Halibut are usually found wherever cod are met with. 
The fishery is not prosecuted as a distinct one, the fish being 
taken in considerable quantities by the cod fishermen. They 
generally inhabit deep gullies near the shore or between the 
banks. The total annual catch of this fish has not increased 
in the course of the last twenty-five years ; but being a fish 
that is consumed fresh, its value has in recent years been 


enhanced considerably by means of improved facilities for 
transporting it to the inland centres of population. It is 
interesting to note that forty years ago halibut were taken 
in large quantities, usually when the fishermen were anxiously 
fishing for cod, and as only the fins were made use of, the 
fish itself was considered a pest. Now it is commonly 
worth eight or ten cents a pound as it comes from the water. 
During the year 1910 the total catch of halibut by the 
fishermen of Eastern Canada amounted to 14,970 cwts, 
valued at $153,400. About six-sevenths of this catch was 
taken by Nova Scotia fishermen. Halibut are shipped in a 
fresh state to all the towns and cities of Canada, and to the 
United States. 


This fishery, although it falls below some others in 
money value, is in some respects the most important of all 
the fisheries of Eastern Canada. Apart from the commercial 
value of the herring as a food, the success or failure of the 
great cod fishery, and of the haddock, pollock and hake 
fisheries, depends to a great extent on the abundance or 
scarcity of the supply of herring for bait. On all parts of 
the coast of Eastern Canada herring are extremely abundant. 
In the spring of each year, without fail, large masses move 
close in to the shore, and are literally washed on to the 
beaches, in many parts of the Gulf of St Lawrence especially. 

Trap-nets and fixed gill-nets set within a mile from the 
shore are the means of capture put into use, and so long 
as the mass of herring remains inshore, large quantities are 
captured by these means. The spring herring, being thin 
and without flavour, are not much used as a food, either in a 
fresh or cured state. The spring catch provides an abundant 
supply of fresh bait for the cod-fishing fleet in its first voyage 
to the banks, while much of it is salted and stored for the 
baiting of lobster traps throughout the lobster-fishing season. 
A small proportion of it is cured in pickle and smoked. 
About the end of May this body of herring, having deposited 
its spawn, moves off into deeper water, where the fish feed 


and fatten, returning in summer and autumn in excellent 
condition for food purposes. They do not, however, come 
so near the shore as they do in spring. 

The same means of capture are put into use during the 
summer and autumn, and as a consequence the catch is 
comparatively small. Indeed, the summer fishery is fre 
quently a failure, owing to the schools not coming in contact 
with the fixed fishing gear. Thus not only are the operations 
of the great cod-fishing fleet seriously hampered for want of 
a steady supply of fresh bait when most needed, but an 
insignificant quantity only of this summer herring of unsur 
passed quality is prepared for consumption as food. 

It has been demonstrated that by the use of what are 
known as drift-nets, set ten, twenty or thirty miles from 
shore, abundant supplies can be secured all through the 
summer months. During the summer of 1907 a steam vessel 
fitted with drift-nets for herring fishing was operated as an 
experiment in the Gulf of St Lawrence by the Dominion 
government, under the personal supervision of the writer, 
and from May 16 to September 12 landed daily catches of 
from ten to seventy barrels of herring of excellent quality. 
Operations were not confined to any one part of the Gulf, 
but included the waters of the eastern end of Prince Edward 
Island, the waters around the Magdalen Islands, Chaleur 
Bay, and the waters of the Gulf at the mouth of that bay. 
By the general adoption of similar methods a vast increase 
in the value of this fishery would be ensured. 

The total value of the herring fishery of Eastern Canada 
for the year 1910 amounted to $1,702,493. To that sum 
Nova Scotia contributed $773,174 ; New Brunswick the 
Gulf shore chiefly $820,132 ; Prince Edward Island, $54,249; 
and Quebec, including the Magdalen Islands, $54,938. It 
has to be recorded, however, that twenty-five years earlier, 
in 1885, the value obtained from this fishery by the four 
eastern provinces amounted to $2,016,019. 

In the light of the extreme abundance of herring on the 
Atlantic coasts of Canada, it is to be deplored that this 
branch of the fisheries is as yet practically undeveloped. 
Of the comparatively small proportion of the annual herring 


catch that is smoked and cured in pickle, part is consumed 
in Canada and part exported to the United States and the 
West Indies ; but, owing to careless packing and badly 
made barrels, the price obtained is not such as to induce 
those engaged in the business to increase the output. With 
particular regard to the preparation of this fish as a food in 
the form of salted herring, there are opportunities for greatly 
increasing the trade by raising the standard of curing and 
packing, and introducing a more substantial barrel for trans 
porting the cured article to market. 


Allied to the herring fishery is the sardine fishery. This 
fishery is carried on in Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick, 
in the waters around the islands of Grand Manan and 
Campobello and at the West Isles at the mouth of the Bay 
of Fundy, and is the only one of its kind in Canada. As a 
matter of fact, strictly speaking, the fish is not a sardine 
at all, but simply a young herring. It is an established 
fact that the true sardine is the young of the pilchard, and 
the pilchard is not found in the waters of Eastern Canada. 

In the course of the last thirty years this fishery has been 
the means of building up a notable canning industry. Of so 
much importance is the fishery, and in such enormous armies 
do the fish appear, that the fishermen who prosecute their 
calling amongst the islands of the Bay of Fundy depend 
largely on it as a means of obtaining a livelihood. 

The fish are captured in what is known as a weir, which 
consists of a wall or leader running out from the shore and 
terminating seawards in a pocket or trap. The leader is 
made by driving wooden posts into the sand or mud, from 
six to seven feet apart, and connecting them by stringers 
along which are secured wattled twigs or brush. The trap, 
usually circular in formation, is constructed of the same 
materials as the leader. As the fish move along the shore, 
they are guided by the leader through a narrow opening 
into the trap, and their return is prevented by projecting 
partitions. The weir, therefore, is a self-fishing device, 


and except for a few repairs requires little attention. The 
fish enter with the flood tide, and it is a notable fact that, 
once they are in the trap, little attempt is made to escape, 
notwithstanding that the spaces in the wickerwork would 
permit many of the smaller fish to go free. When the tide 
has ebbed sufficiently, the fishermen row out to the trap 
and proceed to remove the imprisoned fish. One end of a 
small seine is made fast to a post in the deepest part of the 
trap, and the other end is carefully carried round the mass 
of fish until both ends meet. The encircled fish are then 
scooped into the boat with dip-nets. 

Some weirs, favourably situated in narrow channels, not 
uncommonly secure catches worth $700 or $800 at a single 
tide. One weir at Grand Manan Island is reported to have 
secured as many as 2000 barrels at one tide ; but such good 
fortune is, of course, exceptional. The fish are bought up 
for canning purposes, as they are taken from the weirs, at 
an average price of from $1.50 to $2 per barrel. Weir- 
fishing is permitted only under licence from the department of 
Marine and Fisheries. 

When the canning of these fish as sardines commenced 
nearly thirty years ago, considerable quantities were canned 
in establishments on Canadian soil ; but as the United 
States was the chief market for the canned sardine, the 
government of that country, by placing a prohibitive duty 
on the manufactured article while granting free admission 
to the raw material, transferred the canning industry from 
Canada to the near-by towns of Eastport and Lubec in the 
State of Maine ; and so now the fish are supplied by Cana 
dian fishermen from Canadian waters and canned on United 
States soil. The value of sardines taken during the year 
1910 by Canadian fishermen belonging to this small section 
of the coast amounted to no less than $551,204. 

Besides sardines, there are at times considerable quan 
tities of large herring taken in the weirs. Most of these 
are smoked round and exported in neat boxes to the West 
Indies, while some are smoked in the form of kippers, and 
others are cured in pickle for consumption in the home 



The gaspereaux (commonly called alewlfe), which belongs 
to the herring family, is distinguished from the true herring 
by the fact that it ascends rivers to deposit its spawn in fresh 
water. It is found in the Bay of Fundy, on the Atlantic 
coast of Nova Scotia, and along the south shore of the Gulf 
of St Lawrence as far as Miramichi Bay. It is not met with 
on any part of the Quebec coast. It is probably most 
plentiful in the Bay of Fundy. While considerable quantities 
of this fish are salted for consumption as food, it is more 
generally used as a bait fish. The quantity taken in eastern 
Canadian waters during 1910 amounted to 25,830 barrels, 
the value of which was placed at $100,086. 


The shad also belongs to the herring family, but deposits 
its spawn in fresh water. A full-grown fish, however, 
attains double the size of the largest of the true herring. 
Like the gaspereaux it is found in the Bay of Fundy, along 
the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia and the southern shore of 
the Gulf of St Lawrence. It is taken in greatest numbers in 
the Bay of Fundy and along the Gulf shore of New Brunswick. 
The catch taken along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia is 

During the season of 1910, 5343 barrels of this fish were 
taken, amounting in value to $57,039. The records for the 
year 1870 show that 11,497 barrels were taken in that year ; 
from that date down to the present there seems to have been 
a gradual decrease in the quantity taken annually. A special 
commission recently investigated the conditions affecting this 
fishery, and it is expected that the action taken on the 
strength of its recommendations will result in arresting the 
further decline of the fishery. 


The smelt, like the gaspereaux and shad, ascends rivers 
for the purpose of spawning. It furnishes a most important 


fishery, and is common on all parts of the coast of Eastern 
Canada. The fishery is at its height in the last part of the 
year. When the rivers freeze over, holes are cut in the ice, 
through which nets are let down. Enormous hauls are 
sometimes made in this way. In the year 1910 no less than 
91,081 cwts of this fish were taken, amounting in value to 
the very considerable sum of $849,872. It is caught in great 
numbers on the Gulf shore of the Province of New Bruns 
wick. That small section of the coast alone in the year 
1910 produced 72,387 cwts, valued at $723,870. The home 
markets absorb a large quantity of smelts, but the bulk 
of the catch is shipped in a frozen condition to the United 


This fishery is a very important one on all parts of the 
sea-board of Eastern Canada. Little of an accurate nature 
is known concerning the annual appearance and disappear 
ance of mackerel. On the one hand, it is held that they 
migrate from south to north, appearing first in March or 
April off Cape Hatteras in the United States, and working 
northwards reach the Gulf of St Lawrence about the begin 
ning of June, whence, after a stay of three or four months, 
they return southwards and finally disappear for the winter. 
On the other hand, it is maintained that this south and 
north movement is apparent only, and that in reality the 
fish move in successive schools from the deep, cold water 
to the shallower and warmer water near the shore, which 
they strike at different times as the temperature becomes 

In any case, it is well known that mackerel make their 
appearance off the entrance to the Bay of Fundy about the 
middle of May, and at various points on the coast of Nova 
Scotia as the season advances, until in June they swarm 
into the Gulf. From that time they are found more or less 
abundantly until the early part of November, when they 
disappear entirely from Canadian waters. While all the 
bays and harbours of the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia 


provide excellent haunts for this valuable fish, the Gulf of 
St Lawrence furnishes perhaps the most favourable conditions 
under which mackerel exist smooth water and an exceed 
ingly plentiful supply of food. In the spring the fish are full 
of spawn and in poor condition. When spawning has taken 
place, which usually happens early in July, they begin to 
improve, and from August to the end of October are large, 
fat, and in the best condition for consumption, either in a 
fresh state or split and salted. 

The methods of capture put into use by the fishermen 
of Eastern Canada are traps, set gill-nets, haul-seines, and 
hooks and lines. Traps consist of a leader of netting run out 
from the shore, with a pound or enclosure at the seaward 
end, in which the fish are imprisoned. Gill-nets are anchored 
by one end near the shore. The heads of the fish enter 
the meshes, and the gill-covers becoming fixed to the twine, 
their withdrawal is prevented : hence the name gill-net. 
Haul-seines are operated by fishermen from the shore. 
When a school of mackerel comes in close enough, the net 
is thrown around it and hauled to the strand. Hook-and- 
line fishing, although at one time common on all parts of the 
coast, is now largely confined to the Magdalen Islands. The 
hook is usually baited with the white part of the skin of a 
mackerel. Vessels and boats fitted out for hook-and-line 
fishing invariably carry a supply of herring, which, when 
mackerel are met with, is ground up and strewn on the 
water. This has the effect of keeping the schools near to 
the vessel and within reach of the hooks. 

Three-fourths of the mackerel catch of Eastern Canada 
is cured in pickle, the balance being consumed in a fresh 
state. Curing is performed by splitting the fish open down 
the back immediately after capture, thoroughly washing in 
several changes of water, and packing in layers in perfectly 
tight barrels, each layer being covered with a sufficient 
quantity of salt. The chief market for the cured product is 
in the United States, where it sells at from ten to twenty 
dollars per barrel, according to the quality and size of the 
fish. The United States is likewise the chief market for 
mackerel shipped in a fresh state. 


Notwithstanding the abundance of this fish in Canadian 
waters, and with all due allowance for its erratic movements, 
it has to be admitted that this fishery is prosecuted at the 
present day in only a half-hearted manner, and that no 
advance whatever has been made for many years. Twenty 
years ago it produced a value of $1,969,571, while during the 
last ten years the value has risen and fallen between $800,000 
and $1,600,000. During the year 1910, 43,427 barrels were 
cured on the Atlantic coast of Canada, while 33,910 cwts 
were shipped to market fresh, realizing an aggregate value 
of $947,381, to which Nova Scotia contributed $773,174, 
New Brunswick $49,554, Prince Edward Island $24,918, 
and Quebec (Magdalen Islands entirely) $99,735- 

This fishery, like the summer herring fishery, is retarded 
by the method in general use of fixing fishing gear close to 
the shore and waiting for the fish to meander towards the 
stationary nets. By the adoption of the method known 
as drift-net fishing, the schools in their erratic movements 
could be followed to any distance from the land. If the 
causes that affect the movements of mackerel incline them 
towards the shore, all is well ; but when their movements 
are more in a seaward direction, then, owing to the lack of 
any means of tracing their whereabouts, the season is written 
down a failure. There is also much room for development 
and improvement by the exercise of judicious care in curing 
the fish, and by packing them in strong, well-made barrels. 


The salmon fishery of Eastern Canada is of very great 
importance. The fish is exactly similar, both in kind and 
quality, to the salmon of the European side of the Atlantic. 
The many large, well-stocked rivers emptying into the Bay 
of Fundy, the Atlantic and the Gulf of St Lawrence are the 
means of drawing each season, to the various districts through 
which they flow, large numbers of sportsmen, who invari 
ably find sport to their hearts content. In addition to the 
extensive hook-and-line fishery on the various rivers, there 
is carried on, during the open season, along the whole coast- 


line from the Bay of Fundy to the north shore of Quebec 
in the Gulf of St Lawrence, a very considerable net-fishery. 

Of the counties bordering on the Bay of Fundy, St John 
produces the greatest quantity, which during the season of 
1910 amounted to 2210 cwts. On the Atlantic coast of 
Nova Scotia, Halifax and Guysboro are the chief salmon 
counties, each of them producing over 600 cwts in 1910 
During the same year the county of Inverness, bordering 
on the Gulf of St Lawrence, gave 1000 cwts. 

The best salmon-producing counties in Eastern Canada, 
however, are those situated farthest up the Gulf. Of the 
New Brunswick counties which border on the Gulf, Kent 
produced noo cwts, Northumberland 3900 cwts, Gloucester 
4470 cwts, and Restigouche 3780 cwts in the season of 1910. 
During the same season the Quebec counties bordering on 
the Gulf produced the following quantities : Bonaventure 
2500 cwts, Gaspe 1140 cwts, and Saguenay 5650 cwts. It 
will be observed that the last named is the best salmon- 
producing county in the whole of Eastern Canada. The 
total catch of salmon in the four provinces during the season 
of 1910, both by hook-and-line fishing on the rivers and by 
net-fishing on the coast, amounted to 31,066 cwts, valued 
at $413,485. 


Along the shores of Eastern Canada there are, perhaps, 
the most remarkable grounds for lobster fishing in the 
world. Their extent and the enormous supplies that have 
been annually produced from them in the course of the past 
forty years have no parallel anywhere else. From the island 
of Grand Manan, along both sides of the Bay of Fundy, 
and, following the sinuosities of the coast-line, on to the 
Labrador boundary, lobsters abound in such numbers that 
the taking and marketing of them form one of the most 
important branches of the fishing industry. The total money 
value of this branch is second only to the cod fishery. In 
addition to furnishing employment to most of the regular 
fishermen of Eastern Canada during the course of the season 


when lobster fishing is allowed, it being wholly an inshore 
fishery enables many farmers, who till the usually unre 
sponsive soil near the seashore, to add considerably to their 
earnings by engaging in it. 

Not so very many years ago, however, this fishery was 
of no account, and the finest lobsters were bought and sold 
as low as at fifty cents per hundred. In Chaleur Bay, before 
the advent of the preserving cannery, they occurred in such 
numbers that farmers used them by thousands to manure 
the land. At Shippegan and Caraquet carts were sometimes 
driven down to the beaches and filled with lobsters left in 
the pools by the outgoing tide. One or two individuals here 
and there on those parts of the coast where the crustacean 
was most abundant, becoming impressed with the industrial 
possibilities of preserving the meat of the lobster in tins, 
were the means, about the year 1870, of bringing into being 
three establishments for that purpose. These constituted 
the total number of such canneries in Eastern Canada at 
that time. Forty years later, in 1910, the industry had 
grown to such a degree that no fewer than 677 canneries were 
kept busy in the four eastern provinces, during the lobster- 
fishing season, preserving the enormous quantities that were 
being brought to land daily. 

These canneries, being operated under licence issued by 
the department of Marine and Fisheries at Ottawa, are 
required to conform strictly to a standard set by the depart 
ment, with regard to such matters as the construction of 
sanitary buildings, cleanliness in the handling of the meat, 
etc., and this secures for the product an invariably high 
quality. A one-pound can is most commonly used ; forty- 
eight of these, when filled, make what is known as a case. 
The value of such a case runs from fourteen to eighteen 
dollars, according to the reputation of the packer and the 
extent of the supply and the demand. The United States, 
Great Britain, France and Germany provide the chief 
markets for the canned product, and the supply is, as a rule, 
not equal to the demand. 

In addition to the great canning industry, there is carried 
on a flourishing and extremely remunerative business in the 


export of live lobsters to the United States for consumption 
in a fresh condition. This business is largely confined to the 
counties surrounding the Bay of Fundy, and those along 
the west and south coasts of Nova Scotia as far as Halifax. 
The geographical position of that part of the Atlantic pro 
vinces, together with good steamship service, makes such a 
business possible and profitable. With better facilities for 
transportation, this lucrative trade could be extended to the 
counties lying to the eastward of Halifax. 

The figures that follow show how the lobster industry 
advanced during the period of twenty years from 1870 to 
1890. In the former year there were 591,500 one-pound 
cans of lobsters preserved, the value of which amounted to 
$92,575. From that date a gradual increase was maintained 
till in the latter year the output of the preserved article had 
reached the great total of 11,559,984 cans, while the quantity 
shipped to market in the shell amounted to 104,940 cwts, the 
whole producing a value in 1890 of $1,648,344. 

In the course of the next twenty years, which ended with 
1910, we find after allowing for fluctuations due to weather 
conditions that the quantity of lobsters taken from the 
water has remained almost stationary, while the value has 
increased considerably. The total output of all the canneries 
in Eastern Canada during the season of 1910 was 9,071,600 
cans, and the total shipment of lobsters in the shell 103,907 
cwts, while the aggregate value of the product of the lobster 
industry was $3,657,146. During the previous season (1909) 
the figures were 10,911,497 cans preserved, and 98,373 cwts 
shipped in the shell, the whole valued at $4,200,279. 

For many years fears have been expressed that this 
enormous annual draining of the lobster-producing areas will 
some day result in the extinction of the industry. The 
fact, as already shown, that for twenty years, despite greatly 
increased catching power, there has been little or no increase 
in the quantity taken would seem to indicate the possibility 
of such a calamity occurring. 

Ever since the time this fishery began to assume real 
importance the department of Marine and Fisheries has been 
constantly devising laws and regulations looking to the 


permanent preservation of an industry that is of such vital 
importance to a large proportion of the population of Eastern 
Canada. The season during which fishing may be carried 
on has been reduced to a minimum consistent with the 
necessities of the trade ; the landing of lobsters measuring 
less than a specified size is prohibited ; lobsters carrying 
spawn or berries are protected, while hatcheries for 
propagating and artificially increasing the supply in the 
surrounding waters have been established. It is confidently 
believed that by the strict enforcement of the prohibitory 
regulations, and with the assistance of the hatcheries, the 
permanence of the industry will be assured. 


The area of natural oyster-beds along the eastern sea 
board of Canada is very extensive. Moreover, the beds 
are situated in localities possessing all the requirements of 
shelter, absence of excessive tide, suitable bottom, and the 
proper degree of salinity necessary for the growth and 
nutrition of this succulent bivalve. In addition to having its 
habitat on favourably situated areas, the oyster of Eastern 
Canada has the advantage of being extremely fecund. 

In a special report by Professor Prince, commissioner of 
Fisheries for Canada, entitled Peculiarities in the Breeding 
of Oysters, published in the annual report of the department 
of Marine and Fisheries, 1895, we are informed that whereas 
the European oyster produces not more than one to two 
million eggs, the Canadian oyster produces from fifty to one 
hundred and fifty million. He summarizes the chief differ 
ences between the two as follows : 

Canadian Oyster 

Sexes separate. 

Unfertilized eggs shed by parent. 

Eggs and sperm meet in the open sea and fertilization 
is accomplished. 

The swimming embryo is naked, and has, for a time, 
no shell. 

Number of eggs enormous, probably fifty to one hun 
dred and fifty million produced by each female oyster. 



European Oyster 

Sexes combined in the same individual. 
Eggs never shed before fertilization. 
Eggs fertilized and retained within the mother oyster s 

Embryos protected by a thin shell and emitted as 
black spat. 

Eggs do not exceed one to two million, i.e. one egg 
for every hundred eggs produced by Canadian oyster. 

In Eastern Canada oysters are found at the head of 
Caraquette Harbour on the south side of Chaleur Bay ; all 
along the Gulf shores of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 
notably at such places as Miramich Bay, Bay du Vin, 
Richibucto, Buctouche, Shediac, Baie-Verte, Pugwash, Tata- 
magouche, Pictou and Tracadie ; nearly everywhere in the 
Bras d Or Lakes of Cape Breton, and down the Atlantic 
coast of Nova Scotia as far as Jeddore Head, near Halifax. 
Around the whole coast of Prince Edward Island there 
exist natural beds on which oysters grow, such, for instance, 
as the famed Malpeque, which for delicacy of flavour are 

Notwithstanding this very lavish bestowal of natural 
oyster-producing areas, and the extreme fecundity of the 
Canadian variety, the annual output of the fishery is not 
more than a miserable fraction of what it should and could 
be. As a matter of fact, the quantity produced annually 
since 1882, in which year the production amounted to 64,646 
barrels of about three bushels each, valued at $193,938, has 
been diminishing gradually, in the year 1910 only amounting 
to 34575 barrels. With the decline in quantity, however, 
the price per barrel rose, until in the latter year it rather 
more than doubled that of the former year, and gave a total 
value which amounted to $220,969. 

Rude modes of fishing, reckless destruction of the beds 
by farmers in digging for mud to fertilize their lands, fishing 
through the ice during the winter months, and the leaving of 
immature oysters on the ice, where they perish through the 
severity of the weather, have combined to reduce the annual 


yield of the natural beds. With improved railway trans 
portation there has come an ever-increasing demand, to 
supply which fishermen have had to resort to indiscriminate 
over-fishing to such an extent that on many beds the stock 
left for breeding purposes has not been sufficient to maintain 
the great annual drain. 

Within recent years regulations have from time to time 
been made by the department of Marine and Fisheries, with 
a view to preventing the extinction of this fishery. These 
prohibit the taking of oysters except under licence from the 
minister of Marine and Fisheries ; the taking of oysters 
during a close season, which runs from April to September ; 
the taking of oysters through the ice ; the taking of oysters 
of less than a specified size ; and the digging for mud within 
two hundred yards of any live oyster-bed. Areas have been 
set apart from time to time and allowed to recuperate for 
various periods. The regulations provide that nothing but 
the least destructive fishing apparatus shall be used for taking 
the oysters from the beds. But, even with these preservative 
laws in force, it has become plainly evident that the oyster 
fishery of Eastern Canada under existing conditions cannot 
attain the importance and the development of which it is 
capable. The experience of other countries goes to show 
that nothing short of private or artificial cultivation of 
oysters upon reserved areas will produce the desired results. 

Up to the present time little attention has been devoted 
to artificial culture in Canada, by reason of the uncertainty 
caused by the ambiguous decision of the imperial Privy 
Council in the Fisheries Reference of 1898 as to whether 
the right to grant leases lay with the federal or provincial 
government. At this writing (1913), however, a modus 
vivendi has been arranged by which the provincial govern 
ments concerned are empowered to grant and guarantee 
exclusive rights to any one desiring to lease areas for 
artificial cultivation ; and there can be no doubt that, with 
such security, capital will be attracted, and the business 
before many years raised to its due status. 



Clams of various kinds are taken on all parts of the 
Atlantic coasts of Canada. They are obtained by digging 
on the mud flats at low water, and are used largely for bait 
when herring are scarce. A considerable proportion of the 
annual take of this mollusc is, however, used as food, either 
in its fresh state or preserved in cans. The value of clams 
taken during 1910 amounted to no less than $326,262, to 
which the Gulf shore of New Brunswick contributed the 
largest share. 


Besides the various kinds of fish that have been herein 
dealt with, there are several less important kinds, such as 
torn-cod, flounders, eels and bass, which in the aggregate 
add appreciably to the annual value of the fisheries of the 
eastern provinces. For example, in the year 1910 the value 
of torn-cod, derived chiefly from the Gulf shore of New Bruns 
wick, amounted to $44,586 ; that of flounders, mostly from 
Nova Scotia, to $19,692 ; that of bass, principally from 
the Gulf shore of New Brunswick, to $28,280 ; and that of 
eels, of which Nova Scotia and New Brunswick contributed 
seven-eighths in about equal shares, to $68,939. Nearly all 
these fish are consumed in Canada. 

Fishermen on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia have 
lately paid some attention to the taking of swordfish. The 
mode of capture is by harpooning, the striker standing on 
a platform erected in the bow of the boat. The fish weigh, 
on an average, about 300 Ibs, and realize to fishermen about 
ten cents per pound. The year 1910 was the first in which 
the catch on the Nova Scotia coast was officially recorded. 
In that year swordfish to the value of $13,695 were taken. 
The United States provides the principal market for this fish. 

Squid and capelin, perhaps the most valuable of all 
baits for cod, are found in abundance near the shores of 
Eastern Canada. The former especially is obtained in 


large quantities towards the end of the year, and preserved 
in cold storage for use during the early voyages of the cod- 
fishing fleet in the following spring. During the year 1910 
there were taken from the inshore waters 12,321 barrels of 
squid, the value of which was placed at $43,333. 

The livers of fish, such as cod, pollock and hake, taken 
by Eastern Canadian fishermen, produce in an average year 
upwards of 460,000 gallons of oil, valued at about $140,000. 


In the Gulf of St Lawrence, chiefly around the shores 
of the Magdalen Islands, there is an important annual seal 
hunt made on the ice in the spring. This hunt is entirely 
conducted from the shore, the hunters going off on the ice 
to meet the seals. When these come close in to the shore, 
men, women and children participate in the hunt, and in a 
good sealing year as many as 40,000 seals are killed and 
landed at the islands. At the rate of one dollar per skin, 
this would bring to these isolated fishermen and their families 
a considerable sum of money at a time when it is impossible 
to engage in the regular occupation of fishing. 

At one time a considerable fleet of small schooners was 
engaged in this spring sealing business. These vessels, as 
they became worn out or were lost, were not replaced, and 
now the method is no longer prosecuted. 


Notwithstanding the fact mentioned on a previous page 
that little or no increase has taken place in the aggregate 
annual value of the fisheries of Eastern Canada during the last 
twenty-five years, it seems clear that an era of development 
and expansion is about to commence. The long-existing 
stagnation is due to the fact that the fish trade of the Atlantic 
coast has remained largely a salt-fish one, which, in spite 
of recent improvements in the style of placing the dried 
product on the market in small, neat packages of boneless 
and shredded fish, practically reached its limit long ago. 


That a change is taking place in the character of the 
industry on many parts of the Atlantic coast, and that 
herein lies the hope of re-animation, is obvious to all close 
observers. There is an ever-increasing quantity of fish 
being disposed of in the home markets in a fresh or smoked 
condition. The official records show that in the year 1900 
the quantity of cod so disposed of was nil. Five years later 
it amounted to 12,389 cwts, while at the end of another 
five years (1910) it advanced to the considerable figure of 
43,548 cwts. The quantity of haddock, fresh and smoked, 
consumed increased from 75,606 cwts in 1900 to 98,757 
cwts in 1904, and to 135,574 cwts in 1910. 

One great hindrance to the advancement of the fresh- 
fish trade, that of the slow transportation over the long 
distances separating the centres of population in Canada 
from the sea, has been largely removed by the action of 
the department of Marine and Fisheries, in 1907, in assisting 
shippers of Canadian fresh fish to take advantage of fast 
railway services by paying part of the heavy express charges 
on their shipments, thus enabling them to compete success 
fully with United States shippers, who, previous to that 
time, practically supplied the larger towns and cities of 
Central Canada, owing to the much shorter railway journey 
from Gloucester and Boston. Since the inauguration of this 
system the quantity of fresh fish annually brought into 
Canada from United States ports has been strikingly reduced, 
while that shipped inland from Canadian Atlantic ports has 
been correspondingly increased ; and there can be no doubt 
that the energy and enterprise of fishermen and fish merchants 
will enable them soon to supply the present home demand 
entirely from Canadian sources. 

Boat fishermen have become alive to the fact that in 
order to meet the demands of the rapidly increasing fresh- 
fish trade they must be able to reach port from the fishing 
grounds with their perishable cargo in the shortest possible 
time ; and so we find that during the season of 1910 no fewer 
than 2304 boats belonging to the fishing fleet of Eastern 
Canada were fitted with gasoline engines, being thus enabled 
to make speed when head-winds or calms prevailed. 



Since 1908 steam-trawling, the latest and most successful 
mode of capturing large quantities of fish, has been tried in 
a small way on the coast of Nova Scotia, and the results 
have proved beyond a doubt that by this means of fishing 
much larger hauls can be got in Canadian waters than in 
most waters on the European side of the Atlantic. Steam- 
trawling consists in the dragging of a strong, bag-shaped net 
over the sea-bottom by a steam vessel, for the capture of all 
kinds of fish. There are some serious obstacles to be over 
come, however, before this method of fishing finds a firm 
establishment in Canada. 

It is a fact that, wherever this style of fishing has been 
introduced, it has been, rightly or wrongly, denounced in 
the most decided manner by fishermen who use hooks and 
lines. They not unnaturally fear the effects on the fresh- 
fish markets of the greater catching power of the trawler, 
and also the depletion of the inshore fishing areas by over- 
fishing and the possible destruction of their fishing gear by 
the sweep of the trawler s net. It is not surprising, then, 
to find that on the appearance of the first steam-trawler in 
Canadian waters, the line fishermen urgently requested 
the government to prohibit such a style of fishing. Total 
prohibition was, of course, out of the question, as, owing to 
the fact that foreign trawlers, working beyond three miles 
from the shore, would be unaffected, such a step would 
constitute an unfair discrimination against such Canadians 
as desired to operate trawlers. The government, however, 
went as far as it could go, and passed a law prohibiting all 
steam-trawlers from operating within the three-mile limit 
and in the bays and harbours of Canada. 

In spite of a great abundance of fish, it is doubtful if 
steam-trawling will become in any degree common in Canada 
for very many years. Trawling is an expensive style of 
fishing, and requires a large outlet, at good prices, for all 
classes of fish in their fresh condition, the price of salt fish 
being generally too low to permit of profitable working for 


that trade. There is, therefore, some reason for the fears of 
the line fishermen that a rapid development of this mode of 
fishing might so continually over-supply the as yet limited, 
but growing, fresh-fish markets of Canada as to render both 
line- and trawl-fishing unremunerative. 

It is probable that steam-trawling has come to stay, 
and although its development will, of necessity, be slow, 
nevertheless, looking to the time when Canada will have 
many more millions of people within her borders than she 
now has, when railway rates will have been reduced and 
the distributing facilities will have been increased to keep 
pace with the expanding trade, there will assuredly be seen 
a fleet of steam-trawlers running in from the Atlantic fishing 
grounds with daily supplies of wholesome fresh food-fish. 

With the increasing application of modern methods 
arises the question : Will the vaunted abundance of fish 
in Canadian waters remain unaffected ? This question can 
only be answered by turning to the records of the fisheries 
of European waters, where steam-trawling has been practised 
for many years, and where the fleets are large. There, in 
the comparatively narrow North Sea, what would in Canada 
be called excessive fishing to a superlative degree continues 
from January to December, year in, year out, by an immense 
fleet of trawling and other steam vessels, yet the North Sea 
remains a prolific fishing area. 

Climatic conditions in Canadian waters, and even on the 
Grand Banks, provide a natural protection against depletion. 
For three or four months in each year there is an enforced 
close time during which little or no fishing takes place, and 
during which, owing to the severity of the weather, even the 
operations of steam- trawlers would be practically stopped. 
Indeed, the Gulf of St Lawrence, that immense fish-breeding 
area, is virtually closed to fishing from December to May, 
which period, be it remembered, covers the spawning season 
for cod, haddock and such fish. These fishing grounds, 
therefore, even if excessively worked during the open season, 
would, owing to the long rest, soon become replenished. It 
is inconceivable, then, that the catching power can develop 
to such a degree in Eastern Canada as to ever appreciably 



diminish the extraordinary abundance of fish ; and we may 
rest assured that these fisheries will remain a splendid 
heritage for all time. 

The foregoing description of the fishing areas, fishing 
methods and fish products of Eastern Canada will convey 
some idea of the vast importance of the fisheries, which 
constitute not only an unfailing source of food supply for 
the Canadian people, but also furnish the material for a 
valuable and constantly growing trade with other countries, 
and in the prosecution of which a valuable national ^ asset 
in the shape of a hardy and skilful seafaring population is 
being maintained. 





THE forest products of New Brunswick rank next in 
value to the products of the farm, and a very 
large portion of the land is better adapted to 
lumbering than to agriculture. Definite information of a 
reliable and scientific character is lacking as to the extent 
and value of the forests of the province, the proportion of 
agricultural and forest land, the area of the different forest 
types, or the relation of those types to the geological struc 
tures. It is encouraging to note, however, that this lament 
able ignorance may soon be remedied by the carrying out of 
a forest survey, at least of the crown lands, on a comprehensive 

Topographically the province is rough and uneven, and 
the valleys are intersected by many fine streams. Such 
diversity in elevation gives rise to forest types resembling 
those in the Adirondack region, and the province might well 
be regarded as a continuation of the spruce region of New 
England. The forest as a whole, if white pine and larch 
be excepted, is composed of tolerant, rapidly growing species 
with great reproductive capacity, and it is this last char 
acteristic that most impresses the forester and increases 
the chances for profitable investment in forest land. 

In the swamps the leading species are tamarac or larch, 
slow-growing black spruce, northern white cedar, balsam 
fir, with red spruce, black ash, and maples. There are a 



million acres of barren and swamp lands in the province, 
caused either by excessive or deficient drainage. These lands 
are covered with blueberry bushes and stunted trees such as 
larch, black spruce, poplar and birch. On the gravels and 
sands, spruce, white and red pine, and fir often mixed in 
second growth are found. The burned lands yield grey, 
paper and yellow birch, the conifers gradually superseding 
the hardwoods. On the higher ridges there are magnificent 
hardwood forests of beech, birch and maple, either pure or 
mixed with hemlock and spruce. The spruce is tall, straight 
and well-pruned, making fine lumber, free from knots. The 
spruce flats and swamps yield more spruce and fir per acre, 
and in their lower parts may contain considerable cedar which 
is very apt to show a high degree of rot. 


The timber trade in New Brunswick seems to have followed 
certain definite lines of development, which will be treated 
briefly in the following order : (i) the masting industry, 
when masts and spars were secured for the French, and, 
subsequently, for the English navy ; (2) the export of square 
timber, largely white pine ; or hardwoods intended for ship 
building ; (3) increased activity in producing for the market 
both square and sawn timber, due to shipbuilding being 
added to the industries of the province ; (4) the sawing and 
export of deals, largely spruce and fir, which may be con 
sidered at present the main phase of the trade. If we were 
allowed to forecast the next stage in development, we should 
designate it as the production of other kinds of lumber 
besides deals or plank and the intensive development of the 
hardwood lumber industry. Accompanying this there must 
be closer utilization of waste products such as slabs, edgings, 
and saw-dust, by the finding of new uses and markets for 
the products of wood-distillation, pulp-making, etc., which 
processes will be a necessary and profitable adjunct to the 

The l Masting Industry. Masts were first cut for the 
French navy, on the St John River, in the reign of Louis XIV. 


In October 1700 the French man-of-war, Avenant, which had 
discharged supplies for Villebon s fort at the mouth of the 
Nashwaak near the present site of Marysville, took back to 
France a number of fine masts. 

The discovery of a black spruce fit for yards and top 
masts was of great importance to New Brunswick, and 
marked the beginning of the mast industry for the British 
navy. Several enterprising pioneers in the province con 
tracted with the British government to supply masts. The 
earliest to engage in the business was William Davidson, 
who began operations on the St John River about the year 
1779. The first cargo of masts arrived at Halifax on No 
vember 22, 1780, in one of the navy transports. We learn 
that in 1790 Davidson shipped three cargoes of masts and 
spars from the Miramichi, and that after his death the mast 
contract in that region was taken by Fraser and Thom, a 
firm which a short time previously had established its head 
quarters on Beaubair s Island. So important was the mast 
industry considered at this time that special efforts were 
made to conciliate the Indians by presents so that they should 
not molest the mast-makers. 

It was not unnatural, considering the splendid oppor 
tunities for securing fine masts, that other firms, such as 
that of Francklin, Hazen and White, should take up the 
work. Considerable rivalry, resulting at times in sharp 
words and sharper practices, developed between the rival 
firms. Samuel Peabody, an expert woodsman and surveyor, 
was employed to look after the operations for the firm of 
Francklin, Hazen and White, and it is from his letters to 
his employers that we learn much of the particulars and 
difficulties of the business. 

Masts were hewed in the woods four square and 
bowsed down to the river during the winter by means of 
oxen and a block and tackle. Here they were inspected 
by the king s surveyor, who corresponded to our modern 
lumber surveyor, and then rafted to Fort Howe and stored 
in the mast pond at Portland Point, St John, before 
being sent to Halifax. After being certified to, the holder of 
the mast contract could secure supplies necessary for the 


continuance of the work. The extent of the industry and 
size of the timber can be gathered from the early records. 

On April 30, 1781, Sir Richard Hughes, the administrator 
of Nova Scotia, writing to Lord Germain, speaks of upwards 
of 200 sticks for masts, yards, and bowsprits, which had 
been approved on the St John and were being loaded for 
Halifax. The certificate of the naval storekeeper shows 
that on July 6, 1782, Francklin, Hazen and White had 
delivered at Fort Howe, according to their contract : * 

s * 
37 masts, valued at ... 1096 16 3 

65 yards, ." 1502 J 3 4 

8 bowsprits ,, ,, 181 2 o 

20 M ft B.M. of white ash oar rafters . 500 

In the fall of 1783 Captain John Munro submitted a 
report to General Frederick Haldimand, Governor of Canada, 
in which he says : On the River St John are the finest 
Masts and Spars that I have ever seen. I saw at Fort Howe 
about 6000 pounds worth. Two ships were loading when I 
left that place and there were masts sufficient to load ten 
ships. The proprietors of the lands sell the Pines standing 
for $8.00 each tree. 

Some of these sticks were of great size and length, judged 
by present standards, and show the magnificence of the early 
forests. Samuel Peabody, writing to Hazen and White, 

Mast Contract 

Contracted and agreed on the pth day of August 1781, with Sir Andrew 
Snape Hammond, Commissioner of His Majesty s Navy, resident at Halifax, by 
us, Michael Francklin, Esq., of Windsor, and \Vm. Hazen and James White, of the 
River St John, in the province of Nova Scotia, and we do hereby covenant and 
agree to deliver, free of all charges to His Majesty at the mouth of the River St 
John, the undermentioned North American Whitepine masts, Yards and bow 
sprits, ash rafters, elm timber, oak timber, Anchor stocks, of white oak, and Crooked 
or Compass timber (Ship Knees) in the quantities and of the dimension and the 
prices expressed against each size to be brought to the mouth of the River St 
John by or before the first day of July 1782, and there to remain at our risque 
until they shall be embarked on board such ships or vessels as shall transport 
them to England, Halifax, or elsewhere. It is further agreed by Sir Andrew 
Snape Hammond for the encouragement of the said contractors, that in case 
the enemy should make a descent on the Port of St John in order to destroy the 
masts lying there, that the damages sustained thereby should fall on the Govern 
ment and not upon the contractors, provided that it shall appear that all proper 
endeavours on the part of the contractors were used to save the masts. 


60 1 

mentions masts, some of which were 35 inches in diameter 
and 91 K feet l n g an d a yard 26 inches in diameter and 
108 feet in length, for which the price demanded was 100 
and 80 respectively. If these diameters were taken at one- 
third the distance from the butt, as some statements imply, 
the masts must have been hewed from very large trees. 
The prices paid depended on the diameter and length of the 
pieces, and were about as follows : 




Price paid 

Yards . 
Bowsprits . 
Masts . 





4 to 52 
10 to 42 
10 to 130 

Export of Square Timber. Two cargoes of the first square 
timber ever exported from the Miramichi were shipped by 
Eraser and Thorn in 1792, and until the introduction of saw 
mills this was the favourite form of export for pine, because 
of the small capital required to hew trees in the woods. The 
saving in weight was attended with great loss of valuable 
material. In Northumberland County there was a gradual 
increase in the quantity of square timber exported, which 
amounted in 1824 to a total of 180,298 tons, or 36,336 tons 
more than from the rest of the province. White pine timber 
was quoted at this time at ten, and red pine at twelve, shillings 
per ton respectively. The gradual increase in the exporta 
tion of square timber from St John and its final falling off, 
as spruce deals increased in importance, is shown by the 
following figures : 


Square timber 

Spruce deals 

1821 . 

247,394 tons 

1822 . . 


100,000 board feet 

1824 . 




1839 . . 

277,998 ,, 

1840 . 

261,118 ,, 


1845 . . 


i860 . 

39,290 M 

240,000,000 ,, 

1900 . 


159,785 standards 



Timber used in Shipbuilding. About the year 1815 
Great Britain turned to her North American colonies for 
timber for naval purposes, and, by special act of parliament, 
it was admitted free of duty. Many persons embarked 
in the trade, and on the Miramichi alone, according to 
Robert Cooney, there was invested in lumbering operations 
the sum of ; 1,000,000 sterling. 1 Thus did the timber trade 
owe its origin, as well as its subsequent progress and 
development, to the pressing exigencies of the British nation. 
Besides birch and maple for keels, further mention of which 
is made under the hardwood lumber industry, the products 
demanded were planking, ship s knees, mostly of spruce or 
larch, oars and oar rafters made of ash, handspikes, masts, 
spars, bowsprits, etc. 

The Saw-mills of New Brunswick. The introduction and 
early history of the saw-mill in New Brunswick is a subject 
of great interest and deserves special treatment. According 
to W. O. Raymond s History of the St John River, the pioneer 
of the milling industry in New Brunswick was a primitive 
mill situated at the mouth of the Nachouac (Nashwaak) 
River, erected by the Sieur de Chauffours and his brother, the 
Sieur de Freneuse, in 1695. This mill maybe considered the 
predecessor of the Alexander Gibson Company s mills, recently 
acquired by the Consolidated Pulp and Paper Company. 

The first saw-mill in St John was built by the firm of 
Simonds and White, in 1767, and its site was near that of the 
present Union Railway depot. It was a tide mill erected 
to saw lumber for a lime warehouse and other buildings of 
the firm. By 1812 it had fallen into total ruin. 

In 1768 Captain John Glasier built a saw-mill at the 
mouth of the Nashwaak River. In the following year he 
constructed a second mill. The cost of the two mills and the 
dam was ^200 sterling and the capacity of each was 8000 
feet a day. The Glasiers were pioneers in the lumber business, 
and Senator Glasier, known as the main John Glasier, was 
the first lumberman to bring a drive over the Grand Falls. 

James Woodman also had a mill, on a stream known as 

1 Robert Cooney, History of the Northern Part of New Brunswick and District 
of Gaspe. 


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Numeheal Creek, opposite Middle Island, in Maugerville, 
and as early as 1783 sawed lumber there for the loyalists. 
Samuel Peabody was likewise one of the first mill-owners on 
the St John, the centre of his operations being the Oromocto, 
the timber of which he had doubtless become familiar with 
while engaged in masting. 

In 1786 William Davidson commenced operating two 
saw-mills erected by him on the tributaries of the North- 
West Miramichi. This marked the beginning of milling in 
that region. In 1830 there were two saw-mills near the 
head of the tide on the Buctouche River ; and in 1832, 
according to counties, Northumberland had eighteen saw 
mills, Kent nine, and Gloucester six. The increase in the 
number of mills, of persons employed and of the capital 
invested in the province, from the year 1831 to 1845 at five- 
year intervals, is shown by the following table : 


Number of 



1830 . . 

1840 . 

1845 . . 





The first deal was sawn in 1819 and the first shipment 
of 100,000 feet was sent to England in 1822. From that 
time until the present, spruce and fir deals have constituted 
the main part of the shipments to Europe and the United 
States. The deal is a plank three inches thick and of varying 
width according to the size of the log from which it is obtained. 
With the scarcity of spruce and the corresponding rise in 
stumpage prices, there is an ever-increasing amount of the 
narrower widths and a larger proportion of fir allowed in 
deal shipments. All logs over nine inches at the top end 
are scaled as deal, and those from seven to nine inches at 
the top, inside the bark, are classed as batten spruce. 
Spruce logs suitable for deal usually sell at from thirteen to 
fifteen dollars per thousand board feet at the booms, with 
batten spruce commanding a much lower figure. The early 
stationary mills, cutting eight thousand feet a day and 


driven by water power, are things of the past ; they have 
been superseded by the modern gang and band mills, in which 
the machines are directly driven by motors, and have a 
capacity of from 100,000 to 200,000 board feet daily. These 
modern mills employ large numbers of men and involve 
millions of dollars in invested capital. 


The logging camps in New Brunswick vary in size from 
those of the small contractor or jobber, who lives in the 
woods with his family and employs but a few men, to the 
depot camps of the larger operators, with their extensive 
equipment. In permanence they vary from rude but usually 
comfortable shelters for men and horses, intended to last 
one year only, to those of more careful construction, intended 
to serve as headquarters for two or three years while given 
blocks or certain watersheds are being logged. 

The contractor s camp is built of logs and divided into 
two compartments : one serving as a living-room for the 
contractor and his wife, and dining-room for the men ; and 
opening out from this is the camp proper, with its big stove 
and two or three tiers of bunks. The entire cost of such a 
camp is not over fifty dollars. In the second or third season, 
it will usually be found that the porcupines have badly 
undermined its rotting timbers and the weight of snow has 
almost crushed it, so that it barely stands out as a snow- 
clad ruin against the background of spruce and fir a few 
scattered trees of bird-cherry alone telling of its existence. 
A separate rude building, or hovel/ constructed also of 
logs with cracks stuffed with hay, serves as a stable for the 
few horses necessary for yarding the logs and hauling them 
to the landing. 

On the other hand, the depot, or main supply camp of 
the large company, consists of a comfortable bunk-house 
and cook-house, separated by a small entry-way, a store 
house for meats and vegetables, a smithy, and often a small 
log camp, called the * beaver house, which serves as a woods 
office for the camp boss and the sealer. There is a large 


stable for several pairs of horses, and a granary for storing 
oats and hay. The cost of such a camp ranges from five 
hundred to seven hundred dollars according to the length 
of time it is to be occupied. 

Scattered over the block to be logged are several outlying 
camps, connected with the depot or main camp by tote 
roads over which daily trips are made for the conveyance 
of provisions, equipment and mail, and between which the 
sealer must make frequent trips to get an account of the 
logs yarded and landed by the different contractors. The 
small chest or wanagan, in which shoe-packs, tobacco and 
woollen socks were kept, has evolved into the small store 
where wearing apparel, tobacco and other necessities are 
sold to the men at a small profit. To-day the average 
camp-buildings are more cleanly and comfortable than the 
average hotel in a country town. The sanitary conditions 
and the food have been greatly improved since labour has 
become so scarce that logging operators can only retain 
the services of their men by making the conditions satis 
factory. Fresh meat, vegetables and all kinds of pastry 
form a part of the menu of the present-day logging camp, 
instead of the salt-horse, pea-soup and hard tack of the 
old days. To-day the lumber-jack in New Brunswick has 
the best of food, reasonable hours of labour, sleeps in clean 
bunks, and receives good wages. As a recent forestry 
graduate writes of the conditions in New Brunswick, Camp 
life has improved everywhere ; the old life of filth, fire 
water and fighting has given way to wholesome cleanliness, 
intelligence and decency. 

The evolution of the modern lumber camp is not easy to 
trace. The first camps in the pine forests of New Brunswick 
were probably only one or two logs high, the roofs being 
formed of spruce poles from sixteen to twenty feet long, 
meeting to form the gables, like ordinary rafters. Poles 
were laid across these and fastened by strips of bark. Then 
came a layer of spruce or hemlock boughs, which to some 
extent kept out the snow and rain. Large openings were 
left in each gable and a great fire burned in the centre of 
the camp, the smoke escaping through a hole in the roof. 


Lengthwise of the camp, on either side, ran the common 
bunk made of poles supported some distance from the 
ground, covered with spruce or fir boughs, with blankets 
sewn together for sheets. The lumber-jack s dunnage bag 
or turkey served for a pillow, and the best position for 
sleeping was in the centre of the row opposite the fire. The 
food, while coarse, was wholesome, and hard work made 
hearty appetites. 

The side walls of the present-day camp are built up to the 
height of a man s head, of peeled balsam or spruce logs, 
with the cracks well stogged with moss ; or even made of 
spruce boards covered with layers of tarred paper, so that 
they resemble the camps of the railroad contractor. The 
roofs are covered with tarred paper, and in some cases 
cedar shakes or cheap shingles. Bunks are built in two 
or three tiers, covered with balsam boughs or, in some 
cases, straw mattresses. Camps are well lighted with 
windows of glass instead of oiled paper ; and the crude 
fireplaces have been superseded by upright, cast-iron stoves, 
flanked by that famous institution, the Deacon Seat, from 
which have emanated, amidst clouds of fragrant tobacco 
smoke and the less fragrant aroma of drying larrigans, those 
thrilling and humorous stories and rollicking chansons of 
the Canadian lumber-jack. 

Before the establishment of the camp, which may require 
the services of a crew for two or three weeks to build under 
the direction of the woods foreman, a preliminary inspection 
of the ground must be made, so that all camps may be 
located advantageously to the streams, coupled with a 
cruise or estimate of the timber. Formerly, before the 
prevailing high prices of stumpage and lumber, this was 
done in two or three days by a cruiser, who went over the 
ground rapidly with a pack on his back, stopping wherever 
he found himself at nightfall, and making a hasty camp of 
boughs. Now, this work is given greater attention, and more 
careful surveys and estimates are made of the timber pre 
paratory to logging, the whole operation often being laid 
down on topographic maps in the head office of the company, 
and logging roads, camps, etc., carefully planned, so that the 




entire work can be done as expeditiously and economically 
as possible. 

By far the greater part of the timber land of the province 
about ten thousand square miles is crown land under 
licence, and is obtained by the operator on a lease from 
the Crown Land department, the lessee paying mileage and 
stumpage on the timber cut, so that an accurate estimate is 
very essential. The operator, after cruising, makes applica 
tion for a lease of the land he wishes to lumber, and deposits 
with the department the upset price of twenty dollars per 
square mile. After being advertised, the tract in question 
is sold at auction to the highest bidder, the deposit of the 
applicant being applied on the purchase price, if his bid is 
accepted, or refunded if some one bids higher. After this 
the lessee must pay eight dollars per square mile a year 
for the renewal of his lease, and a stumpage charge of $1.25 
per thousand superficial feet for pine, spruce and cedar, 40 
cents per thousand feet for hemlock, 80 cents per cord for 
hemlock bark, and $i per ton for hardwood timber. All 
logs cut are scaled at the landings along the streams by 
the government sealers, while each company usually has its 
own sealers on private and crown lands, rendering weekly or 
monthly reports of all logs cut. 

The woods operations may be briefly summarized as 
felling, yarding, hauling to landings, driving, rafting and 
towing. The felling of the trees begins early in the autumn. 
Care is taken that stumps are not left too high. Yarding 
starts in October, and continues until prevented by the 
depth of the snow. Two fellers usually work together, 
and after the tree has been sawn into logs, the logs are 
twitched, with single horses usually, up to the skidways or 
1 yards by means of log hooks or grabs. A yarding crew 
consists in most instances, of seven men two fellers or 
choppers, one knotter, who limbs and knots the tree and 
makes the notches for the grips, two swampers, who cut 
the paths for the teamsters and clear away brush, etc., one 
teamster, and one yard tender, who, with a peavy, places 
the logs on the roll-way. 

The yard or skidway is usually built up from the ground 


on skids, from nine to thirteen inches in diameter, placed 
on blocks, and is very often located on a side hill. The logs 
are placed on it in tiers, each tier separated by smaller skids. 
Yards may be from ten to fifteen tiers high and may contain 
from 150 to 500 logs, depending upon conditions. Logs 
are rolled up on the yards by a special arrangement called 
a parbuckle, with which every woodsman is familiar. 
Two inclined skids are placed at each end of the yard ; to 
these is fastened a chain, which goes around the log on the 
under side. The loop of this chain is then hooked to a rope 
which runs across and to the back of the yard through a 
pulley on a spar-tree, then down through another block 
at its feet and across in front of the yard. When the rope 
is hooked to the chain and the horse started, the log is slowly 
rolled up and is placed in position on top of the pile by the 
yard tender, who also pulls back the parbuckle and cuts the 
skids. He then paints the end of each log with the initial 
of the owner or company, so that the logs can later be 
identified when they reach the main river. Hack marks 
are also used and are a more valuable means of identification, 
since the paint marks may be obliterated in driving. The 
wages of the yarding crew run from twenty-six to thirty-two 
dollars per month, according to the skill and experience of the 
men. From 8000 to 10,000 feet of logs can be placed on the 
yard in a day by an active crew, at a cost of from $2 to $2.50 
per thousand feet. 

The hauling of the logs to the landing begins as soon as 
enough snow has fallen to make good roads, and continues 
until operations are checked by spring thaws, which usually 
occur about the middle of March. Logs are hauled on bob 
sleds, which consist of two units fastened together by lead 
chains. Sometimes, in place of one * bunk being used on 
the front or wagon sled, a heavy beam from six to eight 
feet long, to give more loading space, is fastened to the bunk 
by a bolt through the centre, and is called a rocker. The 
rocker makes binding of the logs easier and renders the load 
more pliant, and thus it is preferred by some teamsters. 
The amount of logs hauled from a given yard in a day 
depends upon the character and length of the hauling-road. 





A road on which one round trip a day can be made is called 
a one turn road, and roads may have as many as six turns, 
according to the distances from yard to landing. A load of 
logs, as hauled on bob-sleds, averages from 1500 to 2000 
board feet, and may run as high as 4000 board feet in 
exceptional cases. A fair price for hauling off the yards 
would be $1.50 per thousand feet, or $4 to $4.50 from 
stump to landing. 

The making of good hauling-roads is the chief concern 
of the successful woods foreman, since logs left on the yards 
until the next year might be rendered almost worthless on 
account of borers working in them. After he has selected 
the site for his main hauling-road, avoiding places that 
might drift too easily or swamps that might thaw too quickly 
in spring, the road is ploughed out with a big snow-plough 
made of two spruce timbers placed with the apex point 
ing forward and drawn by a four-horse team. Then the 
sprinkler comes into operation. This is a rectangular tank 
holding several barrels of water loaded on an ordinary sled. 
Each side of the track is then sprinkled, and, with clear cold 
weather, a few trips over the road each day makes an ideal 
hauling-road, requiring little power to move heavy loads. 
Oftentimes it is the steep downhill grade that requires the 
greatest attention, as there is a danger of the sleds running 
over the horses, and, as the New Brunswick lumbermen do 
not use the snub line as in Maine, gravel, sand, rotten 
wood, and straw are used on the hills to prevent catastrophe 
to men and horses. Severe thaws are the bane of ice-roads. 
In a winter of frequent thaws the boss heaves a long sigh 
of relief when the last of the logs are landed safely on the 
banks, or in the bed, of the stream, to await the spring 
freshet which is to bear them to the mills. 

In some parts where the haul is long and level and there 
is a large quantity of logs to be moved to the landings, 
the steam log-hauler has been introduced with considerable 
economy. This log-hauler consists of a boiler and engine 
mounted upon sleds and easily steered from the front sled. 
The advantage of the machine is that no iced roads are 
required, for it makes its own road, the power being obtained 


by a wide, jointed belt running over sprocket wheels and 
giving a very wide bearing on the snow. The roads are 
much wider than the ordinary sled-roads, and the logs are 
loaded upon much larger sleds, so that an entire train of 
logs may be hauled with very little trouble. Such a log- 
hauler may be operated both night and day, and will do the 
work of twenty pairs of horses. The cost of the engine and 
other equipment for hauling is about $10,000. Three of 
these machines are already in use at the head-waters of the 
St John River. 

Some of the work preliminary to driving is done in the 
fall at the time of camp-building, when brooks are cleaned 
out, channels widened or straightened, leaning trees, called 
sweeps, cut out, and in some cases splash dams constructed, 
the gates of which when opened will release a head of water 
sufficient to sweep the logs over flats otherwise impassable. 
With the first spring thaws in May begins a busy life for the 
rivermen, and they are dispatched in crowds to the head 
waters of the streams to begin the drive. With the spring 
freshet some are set to work breaking down the brows or 
landings, others are stationed along the stream at dangerous 
places to keep the logs in motion. Often an immense jam 
forms which must be broken. This is sometimes done by a 
lumber-jack risking life and limb on the heaped-up logs ; 
more often by the use of dynamite to disengage the key 
log and set the entire mass free. If the brook connects 
with a lake or series of lakes the logs must be pushed through 
with poles, or groups of them surrounded with a light ring 
boom and drawn through with a windlass. Sometimes the 
main camp can be utilized for the drive, but more often 
temporary camps are established along the stream, and the 
life of the rivermen, while interesting, becomes one of hard 
ship and peril. The cost of driving varies so much with the 
character of the stream and season that it is hard to give 
general figures. The cost, unless the conditions are excep 
tional, should not be much over $i to $1.50 per thousand 
feet ; otherwise the lumbermen must resort to some other 
method of logging. After the main drive has gone through, 
other crews of men follow up to rescue stranded logs, and to 


look out for forest fires, of which stream-driving is said to be 
a prolific source. 

Where several lumbermen drove large quantities of logs 
down a large river it was soon found mutually profitable 
to discontinue their separate drives and organize what is 
known as a log-driving company, such as we now find on 
the St John, Tobique, and other rivers in the province. 
A company is organized and incorporated under a charter 
from the provincial government. Every lumberman having 
a certain amount of logs to be driven within definite limits 
of the river can become a member upon application, and 
the officers elected by the company are empowered by the 
members to organize the whole system of booms and gaps, 
engage a large force of men, fix tolls and other charges, 
in short, transact all the business connected with log- 
driving on that river. The expense of driving and main 
taining the officers of the company is borne proportionately 
to the amount of logs owned by and driven for each member 
every year. Before becoming a member, the applicant must 
submit to the secretary of the company a statement of his 
logs, his driving limits, and a list of the marks used on his 
logs. These marks are also recorded at Ottawa. 

The booms of such company are of three main types as 
far as their object is concerned sorting gaps, where logs 
are simply sorted out for their different owners ; sorting and 
rafting booms, where logs are in addition rafted ; and storage 
gaps, where millions of feet of logs are kept in storage until 
the latter part of the summer. The gap at Van Buren, 
Maine, on the St John River, is a sorting gap only, logs being 
sheared to the American or Canadian side, according to 
ownership ; the Douglas and Mitchell booms at Fredericton 
are used for both sorting and rafting ; while the Sugar 
Island boom is of the storage type and has a capacity of 
150,000,000 feet of logs. 

The scene of the rafting operations at one of these booms, 
such as Douglas on the St John near Fredericton, is a busy 
one during the spring and summer. As soon as the river is 
free from ice, booms are swung into position and prepara 
tions made for the season s work. As the logs come through 


narrow gaps, the catch mark men put on each a mark 
of identification, the men with ratlines just below fasten 
those of one owner together with a small rope locked at 
regular intervals around pegs that are driven into the logs, 
and in this condition they pass to the bottom makers, 
who boom together with poles and wooden pins from twenty 
to thirty logs, this constituting the bottom of one unit, 
which is known as a joint/ and which contains about 2000 
board feet of logs. After the bottoms are made, logs called 
* floaters are swung over on top by means of chains operated 
by an overhead cable, and the * joint, now completed, 
passes down to two sealers, who call out to the tallyman the 
number of board feet in each log according to its length and 
diameter, which record is kept by him and entered upon the 
books of the company. Some of the lumber companies may 
have their own tugs in waiting to convey an assemblage of 
from six hundred to seven hundred joints, called a raft, to 
their mills, or this work may be done on contract by a 
freighting company. Usually the responsibility of the driving 
corporation ceases with the scaling of the logs. 

While there has been great change in camps and camp 
equipment in New Brunswick, it may be said that, except 
for the use in some cases of the steam log-hauler, lumbermen 
log as their grandfathers logged. The heavy snows which 
come in November or later make the conditions ideal for 
logging after the old methods, and the rough topography 
and many streams, the lightness of spruce, pine, larch, fir 
and cedar, and the improvement in the technical properties 
of these woods due to long immersion in water, have continued 
to make driving the best and cheapest method of trans 
portation. Driving has also caused the lumber companies 
to neglect to some extent the exploitation of valuable hard 
woods, such as birch and sugar maple, in which the next 
few years will probably see vast development. 

But the time is approaching when the increasing distance 
of the best timber from streams, the uncertainty of high 
water, the difficulty, already felt, of getting sufficient men 
to go to the woods, the soaring price of lumber with increased 
scarcity, increased population and the great competition 


with southern pine and other imported woods, are bound 
to bring the lumbermen face to face with a demand for new 
methods. In short, the time will come when logging by 
machinery and by railroad will alone solve the difficulties 
mentioned. The trend of the times points to the fact that 
the steam skidder, either of the cableway variety for logging 
in rough ground, or the slack-rope system for logging in 
swamps, where the stand runs high enough, will be found to 
be applicable to New Brunswick conditions ; and the lumber 
men, in place of being at the mercy of snow and water, will be 
able to log to advantage throughout the entire year. Where 
the steam skidder cannot be used economically, spurs of log 
ging railroads are pushed up the streams to timber which 
will not now pay for driving, and logs are landed along the 
tracks and loaded on cars, either by means of animals or of a 
steam log-loader. The penetration of so much of the timber 
lands by railroads makes the construction of spurs connecting 
with the main lines of transportation entirely feasible by 
large companies, and even now the method is being used 
on a small scale for hardwoods which are of so high specific 
gravity that they cannot be driven. By cheapening the cost 
of transportation and loading on cars, by the introduction 
of machine logging, and by more efficient management the 
New Brunswick lumbermen can alone stem the incoming tide 
of southern pine, and Douglas fir from the West. 

That the cost of lumbering has not greatly changed since 
1825 and that there was little profit then in the business was 
shown by a statement by Charles Fisher that the cost of 
getting out one thousand tons of timber on the Wabskahagan, 
a branch of the Tobique, amounted to about ^1116 sterling, 
to which was added the expense and risk of transportation 
to St John. If this is taken to mean pine lumber, since a 
thousand board feet of pine weighs about 2200 pounds, it 
would make the cost at the stream about six dollars per 
thousand feet. He points out from this that a more prudent 
system of lumbering was demanded and that the timber 
trade should go hand in hand with the cultivation of the 
soil and the general improvement of the country. 

In its hardwood timber New Brunswick has an asset 


whose value is just beginning to be appreciated. Some of 
the best spruce is found in mixture with beech, birch and 
sugar maple, but it has been the custom to cut the spruce 
and leave the hardwoods, which in this ridge or slope type 
are straight, tall and well pruned, and yield a large propor 
tion of clear lumber. In naval architecture the rock maple 
furnished, next to white oak, the best material for the keels 
of ships, so that in the early days it was largely exported 
by the ton for that purpose. T. Cotterel, who prior to 
1876 had been for some twenty-five years in the business 
of furnishing ship timber for export and home consump 
tion, said that the most economical method of obtaining 
the frame of a ship was to mould the timber in the woods 
from October to December when the roots could be easily 
removed. For the frame of a ship 1000 tons and upwards, 
the cost was six dollars per thousand feet board measure ; 
for a frame of 300 tons or under, eight dollars per thousand 
feet, the expense of cutting down, hewing and moulding vary 
ing with the size of the timber and the tonnage of the vessel. 
The following figures compiled from the statistics of the 
Forestry branch, Ottawa, will give some idea of the value 
of lumber, lath and shingles produced by the Maritime 
Provinces in 1910 : 

(M feet B.M.) 

Value of 

Average price 
per M feet 


New Brunswick 
Nova Scotia 
Prince Edward 













As all mills did not report to the Forestry branch the 
amounts of lumber cut, and exact statistics are lacking 
regarding pulpwood, it is safe to say that the total value of 
forest products yearly for New Brunswick would be about 
$7,000,000, of Nova Scotia about $5,000,000, and of Prince 
Edward Island at least $100,000, or a total of considerably 
over $12,000,000 for the three combined. 

The different species of lumber and the number of board 






feet contributed by each province was according to the same 
statistics as follows : 

New Brunswick 
(M feet B.M.) 

Nova Scotia 
(M feet B.M.) 

Prince Edward 
(M feet B.M.) 

Spruce . 




White pine 




Hemlock . 






Red pine 







Balsam fir 








Maple . 











Jack pine 




















That the true spirit of forest conservation is making pro 
gress in New Brunswick, with reference to the handling of 
both crown and private lands, is indicated in several ways. 
The passage of more stringent forest laws, the increased 
expenditure for fire protection, the seeking of better methods 
for reducing the fire danger and the waste in logging, and 
the establishment of forestry education in the provincial 
university in 1908, all point in that direction. The general 
interest in forestry conventions and all other means for the 
stimulation and spreading of public sentiment on the forestry 
issue is keen and appreciative. It can be shown, however, 
by citations from some of the early historians, that the 
modern conception of conservation of the forests is by no 
means a new one. 

Fisher, in 1825, called attention to the fact that timber 
was the chief export of the province, in return for which 
many indispensable articles were received from the mother 


country, and that strict attention should be paid to the 
preservation of such an important asset. In his estimation 
there was no article of greater value than the pine, since 
every settler who had an ax could get out squared timber. 
After attending to his farm in the summer, he could work 
in the forest during the winter months for the support of his 
family. Thus the very fact that the forest could be so 
readily exploited became a factor in its rapid destruction. 

Fisher said : The evils that must arise to the province 
by allowing the timber to be monopolized and hastily cut 
off, are many. The timber standing in the country, par 
ticularly on the crown lands, may be considered so much 
capital stock to secure a permanent trade, and promote the 
solid improvement of the country. This idea is almost 
identical with the best principles of forest management 
to-day that the forest is so much capital, the annual growth 
so much interest on that capital. He further points out 
that a settler with a lot of two or three hundred acres might 
choose the most suitable land for tillage, reserving his pine 
on non-agricultural land to be cut at his leisure, thus render 
ing it an inexhaustible resource. Such an expression savours 
much of the idea of sustained yield advocated by the forester, 
and the modern plans advocated for the successful handling 
of the farmer s wood lot. 

Robert Cooney, in his History of New Brunswick, published 
in Halifax in 1832, seems also to have grasped the idea that 
too much attention to lumbering and too little to agricultural 
pursuits threatened the real prosperity of the country. He 
gives this sage advice : Lumber moderately, fish vigorously, 
and farm steadily. We have too long wasted our energies 
by exclusively prosecuting the timber trade ; but it is high 
time to reflect that the forest is a perishable resource, and 
that ultimate exhaustion is absolutely inevitable. 

The scarcity of timber suitable for masts for the royal 
navy was a source of solicitude to the early governors of 
the colonies. Surveyor-General Morris, of Nova Scotia, in 
a report to Governor Legge in 1774, stated that in Nova 
Scotia, between the Bay of Fundy and the ocean, on account 
of shakes, no pines fit for masts could be found. He then 


recommended that all the lands on the St John River above 
the settlements, back for a distance of at least twenty-five 
miles on each side, should be reserved for such purpose, 
since the river was navigable for boats and the rafting of 
masts throughout its entire course. 

If we examine the early land grants we find that certain 
restrictions prevailed as to the use of wood and timber. 
We read of Colonel Alexander MacNutt taking some excep 
tion to the requirement that all pine trees twenty-four inches 
in diameter and upwards at twelve inches above the earth 
must be marked with an arrow and reserved for the use of 
the royal navy. The objectionable clause was, however, still 
retained in the grants, with the additional provision, that if 
any such trees were cut without a permit, the lot in question 
should be forfeited and the lands revert to the king. As early 
as 1784 one section of the royal instructions to Lieutenant- 
Governor Thomas Carleton set forth that no grants of any 
land whatever should be made until the surveyor-general of 
woods, or his deputy, had inspected and marked out to be 
reserved any growth suitable for masts or other timber fit for 
the use of the navy, and more especially upon the Rivers St 
Croix, St John and others convenient for transportation. 

Aside from these regulations, which were more in the 
nature of reservation than of conservation, there must have 
been not only great carelessness but wanton destruction of 
the forest. The forest was commonly considered inexhaus 
tible and the generous grants frequently overlapped, due 
both to great prodigality in bestowing timber lands and 
inaccurate methods of mapping and recording grants. When 
to all this was added the waste caused by hewing timber in 
the woods, the cutting of high stumps, and the leaving to decay 
of the most valuable parts of the tree, the combined result 
must have been appalling. In time there arose a more care 
ful regime, culminating in the Stumpage Act and more careful 
methods of administering and conserving the crown lands. 

The crown lands are administered by the Crown Land 
department under the direction of the surveyor-general, with 
a deputy, a chief of sealers and a force of sealers, and fire 
and game wardens. Their importance can be judged by the 



fact that their operations furnish a very large part of the 
revenue of the province, without which appropriations for 
public works and education would be cut down and general 
progress greatly impeded. 

A tabulated statement of the amount of lumber upon 
which stumpage was collected on crown lands, together 
with the transatlantic shipments, for the years 1906-11, 
furnished by the provincial secretary, is as follows : 


(superficial feet) 

Transatlantic Shipments 
(superficial feet) 

1906 . 



1907 . 
1908 . 



1909 . . 
I9IO . 
I9II . 



During the year 1911, according to the Crown Land 
report of the province, the stumpage collections amounted 
to the sum of $367,679.14, and a conservative estimate of 
the entire lumber cut of the province, on both private and 
crown lands, during the year 1911 would be somewhere near 
450,000,000 superficial feet. 

The two gravest dangers that menace the perpetuity of 
the crown lands, as well as private lands, are fire and over- 
cutting. More attention is being paid to fire protection, 
and a large sum is annually expended for that purpose. 
According to the last report (1911) of the surveyor-general, it 
is the intention of the department to call a meeting of the 
lumbermen of the province to take into consideration the 
question of fire protection, as well as the disposal of brush, 
on the crown lands. 

The Miramichi fire in the year 1825 laid waste a forest 
area of six thousand square miles. Great business depression 
resulted, especially in the county of Northumberland, and 
a great falling-off in the export of lumber took place, due 
not so much to the actual timber destroyed as to the 
financial panic which followed the fire. The original forest 
of pine and spruce was succeeded by an inferior growth of 
white and grey birch, larch, poplar and bird-cherry, beneath 


which slowly fought their way the former ruling coniferous 
species. In 1866, according to Professor J. W. Dawson, some 
of the larch trees were large enough to be used in shipbuilding. 
Since 1866 the forest has been cut over several times. In some 
places vast barrens have resulted, the feeding ground of moose 
and caribou, scattered over which are burned and blackened 
rampikes, the silent sentinels of the forest primeval. Vast 
areas are also covered with a thick growth of jack pine, which 
is rapidly becoming merchantable. The student of succession 
in forest types resulting from fire will find in the Miramichi 
country an interesting and unending field of investigation. 

While the ordinary person is more apt to dwell at length 
upon the great loss by fire to standing and young timber, 
the forester sees, besides this, other effects of repeated burn 
ing. Among these may be mentioned the baking of the soil, 
preventing the germination of seeds, the killing of existing 
reproduction, the burning out of the organic soil consti 
tuents, impoverishing it and encouraging the growth of inferior 
species. In many cases the soil is completely burned, re 
quiring in extreme cases a hundred years or more for the 
complete restoration of forest conditions. Thus it is not 
alone the present but future crops that are damaged, and 
great and permanent loss to the commonwealth results. 

It is now conceded, and has been actually demonstrated 
in many districts in the United States, that forest fires can 
to some extent be controlled and prevented by scientific 
methods. In fact, at times the first work that foresters are 
called on to do is to organize a system of fire protection, 
by a better disposal of waste inflammable material after log 
ging, an efficient patrol by competent wardens, the establish 
ment of look-out stations connected by telephone for rapid 
location and communication, the constructing of good trails 
and fire-guards, and the building at convenient places in the 
forests of caches for tools necessary for fire-fighting. 

Rules for the disposal of brush and slash could be best 
made by a forestry commission similar to those in many 
parts of the United States, with some or a majority of the 
members practical lumbermen with the good of the province 
and the future of the lumbering industry at heart. Such a 


commission, through its chairman and executive officer, the 
surveyor-general, should have the power of making and en 
forcing all regulations that it deems wise for cutting timber 
on crown lands. 

This forestry commission, receiving on the one hand 
expert and theoretical advice from some of its members and 
practical suggestions from these lumbermen who have made 
a life-study of the woods, could, if backed by public opinion, 
progress gradually to the accomplishment of its designs. 
The very fact that it was administering the forests, not for 
the prestige of a political party, but as held in trust for the 
people, would ensure careful deliberation and cautious pro 
cedure before any important regulations were made. 

Apart from fire, the principal cause of forest destruction 
is unwise and improvident cutting. This danger of over- 
cutting the crown lands is mentioned by J. K. Fleming, 
premier and surveyor-general of New Brunswick, in his 
report of 1911, where he says : There is an opinion prevail 
ing that we are cutting very nearly up to the annual growth ; 
indeed, in some localities, it is claimed that we have been 
exceeding it for many years. That this is a serious situa 
tion is at once apparent. The exaction of double stumpage 
on undersized trees will do something to counteract the 
tendency ; and there is need of a careful estimate of the 
timber on crown lands and of scientific study of the rate of 
growth. There is now on the statute-books of New Bruns 
wick the Public Domain Act of 1906, which provides for a 
survey of the crown lands upon a much more comprehensive 
scale than that carried out by Nova Scotia. It is estimated 
that such a survey would cost about fifty dollars per square 
mile, or about half a million dollars for the crown lands 
now under licence. Accompanying the topographical map 
information might be given as to the areas in various forest 
types, the composition of the forest, the suitability of the 
soil for farming or lumbering, and an estimate of the standing 
timber. Such a thorough stock-taking would justify a very 
large expenditure and would supply definite information, 
instead of the present haphazard methods of estimating the 
present stand and the future growth on the crown lands. 



NOVA SCOTIA is the only province that can as yet 
boast of a forest survey, or, more properly, recon 
naissance. During the summers of 1909 and 1910 
such a survey was carried out by Dr B. E. Fernow, Dean of 
Forestry in the University of Toronto, with the assistance 
of two members of his staff, Dr C. D. Howe and J. H. White. 
The survey, which covered an area of 21,000 square miles at 
a cost of about $6000, was brought about largely through 
the efforts of the Western Nova Scotia Lumbermen s Associa 
tion. Its purpose was to secure and plot upon the present 
crown lands sheets to an approximate scale of two inches 
to the mile accurate information regarding the timber lands 
of the province, with a view to formulating a forest policy 
for the future, both for crown and private lands. When 
it is realized, says Dr Fernow, that fully two-thirds of the 
province is non-agricultural land covered with forest growth 
or not fit for any other use than timber-growing, and that 
this forest resource, which furnishes not less than four to 
five million dollars annually, is in danger of exhaustion within 
the next two decades, the importance and propriety of the 
inquiry into the character and possibility of continuing it 
can hardly be questioned. The report of this survey was 
published by the Commission of Conservation at Ottawa. 
The following is a brief summary. 

Physiographically the Province of Nova Scotia is a con 
tinuation of the Appalachian or Acadian mountain system, 
and may be divided into four distinct regions, namely, the 
southern or Atlantic and the northern slope of the main 
land, and the northern and southern sections of Cape Breton 
Island. (Ecologically, the whole province is, however, to be 
assigned to the Appalachian or Acadian forest type, namely 
a maple-birch-beech formation with coniferous admixture, 
exhibiting, of course, such regional or local variations as 
soil conditions naturally produce. 


It is unnecessary to give in detail the geological structure 
of the four regions mentioned, or to show how the rock and 
soils of each determine the type of forest growing thereon, 
all of which is admirably set forth in the report just mentioned. 
It is sufficient for our purpose to say that on the northern 
slope the richer and more diversified soils, coming from the 
decay of its more readily soluble rocks, have given rise to 
pure, luxuriant hardwoods, which occupy large areas. The 
southern slope is characterized by granites, quartzites, slates 
and glacial deposits. The central granite plateau which 
separates the two slopes, especially well developed in the 
western peninsula, gives rise to absolute forest soils ; the thin 
soil of the ridges being covered with a stunted coniferous 
growth, largely fir ; the gentler slopes and coves with spruce 
and hemlock, and originally pine, among a rather poor hard 
wood growth. 

Adjoining the granite area, a quartzite formation, harder 
and less easily disintegrated, gives rise frequently to rock 
barrens and poor growth. This formation is especially 
developed in the eastern half of the peninsula, which is, in 
consequence, more poorly wooded. The lumbering industry, 
therefore, at the present, is largely confined to the western 

The slate formation and the glacial deposits as a rule 
support the better forest growth where the land has not been 
cleared for farming purposes. But even the glacial deposits, 
where they are coarse and hence overdrained, may give rise 
to barrens, and, where underdrained, to swamps. 

Cape Breton Island divides itself topographically into the 
southern section, an undulating plain, and the northern 
section, a high plateau (Victoria and Inverness Counties), with 
very little topographic differentiation. Coniferous growth 
prevails in both, and the latter section is especially of in 
terest on account of the extensive balsam-fir forest which 
covers it. The slopes of the plateau are stocked with hard 
woods, but the plateau itself bears a fir forest in which hardly 
over fifteen per cent of spruce and only a small per cent of 
paper birch occur, except in the northern topographically 
diversified portion, where spruce and occasionally white pine 


become prominent. On the crest of the plateau a series of 
moss barrens gives rise to the many short streams that find 
their way over falls into the sea. 

There are on the mainland, according to the areas shown 
on the maps, 5,053,000 acres of green forest and 352,000 
acres, recently burned, which may recuperate. Of the green 
area, IO 8 per cent is coniferous growth in pure stands, 
3*4 per cent pure hardwoods, and the balance mixed forest. 
The actual and potential forest area is about 6,700,000 
acres, or about 70 per cent of the entire province. Of this 
forest area 25 per cent has been destroyed by fire ; 45 per 
cent is young growth, or so severely culled that not much 
timber is left ; and the remaining 30 per cent, say 1,400,000 
acres of virgin, semi-virgin and moderately culled forest, 
must furnish the larger part of the present lumber supply. 

The present lumber cut of the province is about three 
hundred million feet B.M., two-thirds of which is spruce, 
and the estimated timber standing on the available area 
totals about five billion board feet. Adding to this what 
lumber may be secured from the severely culled and the 
second growth forests, the supply of available timber can 
hardly be swelled to nine billion board feet, indicating a life 
for the industry, as at present developed, of not more than 
from twenty to thirty years. The timber of Cape Breton 
is a negligible quantity in this rough calculation. Although 
with 1,535,000 acres the per cent of forest land is larger than 
on the mainland, the southern section is cut over and grow 
ing up mainly in balsam fir ; the northern section is largely 
covered with the same species, fit only for mine-props and 
pulpwood. Of such material some 12,000,000 cords may be 
found on the island and another 10,000,000 cords of pulpwood 
on the mainland. At least eighty per cent of the lumber cut 
of Nova Scotia is exported the principal markets being 
South America and the West Indies. 

According to Dr Fernow, the idea held by most Nova 
Scotians that the rate of the growth of spruce is very rapid 
is erroneous, and is based on the very rapid growth made by 
the white spruce in pastures and not on the forest-grown 
red spruce. While no detailed studies of growth were made. 


Dr Fernow places the diameter growth for the younger age 
classes of red spruce at one inch in seven years and of older 
trees at one inch in ten to twelve years a rate which may 
be assumed as the average for northern species and climates. 

Until 1899 the province disposed of its timber lands at 
so much an acre, so that now only about 1,500,000 acres 
remain to the crown, and this is mostly barren or of inferior 
character. Since the methods of surveying were inaccurate, 
it is probable that much less land than this is actually crown 
land. More than half of the forest area is in small holdings, 
rarely exceeding one thousand acres, and the owners are 
pursuing a more conservative policy in handling their wood 
lots than the owners of tracts of larger extent. 

Dr Fernow, in addition to prescribing the usual means for 
securing a more efficient fire protection, in which the province 
has already made such progress, recommends the appoint 
ment of a technically trained provincial forester whose 
duties would be similar to those of the state foresters in the 
United States. Such a man could carry on a campaign of 
education, perfect the organization of the fire-fighting force, 
and give advice and assistance to private owners and cor 
porations in regard to planting and improvement work. 
It is hoped that the stock-taking by the survey referred to 
will enable the province to rightly value and appreciate the 
importance of its forest resources and will lead to definite 
action regarding the perpetuation of such a valuable asset. 



A"J account will now be given of the main commercial 
tree species of New Brunswick, with their properties 
and economic uses ; in the case of some of these 
species, a few notes will be added from Robert Cooney s 
account of the same subject in 1825, when some interest- 


ing fact in technology or in regard to economic uses is brought 
to light by his study. 

White Pine (Pinus strobus). The sap wood is nearly 
white, the heart wood in old trees of a pronounced reddish 
colour, giving rise to the old name of pumpkin pine. The 
wood is uniform in weight ; it shrinks and warps but little 
in seasoning, is fairly durable and will carry 7000 pounds 
per square inch in compression. Its chief uses are for pattern- 
making, house-building, shingles, boxes, crates and excelsior. 
It was formerly the chief wood for spars and masts. No 
wood can take its place and be so satisfactory for many 

Red Pine, Norway Pine (Pinus resinosa). The wood is 
intermediate between the soft or white pines and the hard 
pines. It is easy to work, straight-grained and used as a 
substitute for white pine. It will stand a strain in com 
pression of 8200 pounds per square inch. It is cut into 
square timbers, boards and planks, and is used also for 
railroad ties and boom poles. 

Prince s Pine, Banksian or Jack Pine (Pinus divaricata). 
The wood of this pine resembles in some respects that of a 
slow-growing black spruce, and in certain parts of the province 
it is very common on burned land. Dr Bailey says that 
on the South-west Miramichi after the fire of 1825, this 
species has come up so thickly that it is almost impossible to 
press one s way through them. It is a small tree, but may 
become large enough for railway ties and mine-props. 

Red Spruce (Picea rubens). The wood of this species 
and that of Black Spruce (Picea mariana) cannot be dis 
tinguished, and both are classed together by the lumberman 
as black spruce ; but they are two distinct species. The 
wood of the red spruce is lightly tinged with red in old timber. 
It is distinguishable from white or cat spruce by the finer 
grain, fewer and narrower pith rays, finer texture, and the 
absence of colour in the latter. Next to the white pine, 
red spruce is the most valuable tree in the province and is 
taking its place for purposes of general construction. The 
fibre is very soft and long, making it an excellent pulpwood. 
It is also very resonant and is used for the sounding boards 


of pianos. It is sawn largely into deals and battens and was 
formerly used for ship s knees. 

White Spruce (Picea Canadensis) . The original name 
was Picea alba or single spruce. It is a more rapidly growing 
species than red, while the black is still slower in growth. 
J. A. M c Callum, deputy-surveyor in 1873, cut down a tree 
of this species which made a log measuring 14 inches at the 
butt, 10 inches at the top and was 64 feet long. They have 
been cut 80 feet long, measuring 25 inches in diameter at 
the butt and 18 inches at the top. 

Eastern Larch, Tamarac, Hackmatac (Larix Americana) . 

This wood is dense, heavy and hard, and very durable in 
the soil. The heart wood is a light brown. It is very slow- 
growing and usually forms almost pure stands in sphagnum 
swamps. It is cut into lumber, but is chiefly used for ties, 
poles and posts. According to Cooney, it was formerly 
used for treenails, ship beams and stanchions, also, for plank 
ing under water, and by some was considered as good as 
English oak. It also makes excellent ship s knees. 

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) .Balsam fir or var, as 
it is sometimes called, is coming into use as a substitute for 
spruce and pine, being mixed with spruce both in manu 
factured lumber and in pulp. It is taking the place of spruce 
for cross arms for telephone poles. Resin blisters or vesicles, 
the source of Canada balsam, are found in the bark. While 
formerly considered worthless, it is rapidly becoming a 
valuable species. When peeled it is a durable wood for the 
construction of camps. In the spring, it has a small, 
delicate, yellow bud, which, when gently pressed, exhales 
an odour not unlike that of the pine-apple. 1 

Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis) .The wood is 
stiff, harsh, splintery, brittle and of coarse texture, rarely 
straight-grained, and hard to work and plane. The lumber is 
subject to loose knots and ring shakes. Its bark is used in 
the tanning industry. It makes a good lathwood, and being 
durable under water is admirably adapted for wharves. The 
slabs are now used in the manufacture of soda pulp. 

1 Robert Cooney, History of the Northern Part of New Brunswick and District 
of Gasps. 


Northern White Cedar, Arbor Vitae (Thuya occidental s). 
The heart wood of this species is a pale, yellow brown, very 
fragrant, light and durable. It is usually of very fine grain 
and texture, with inconspicuous pith rays. The wood works 
easily and splits readily, and as a consequence it was formerly 
much used for split shingles or shakes. Its firmness, light 
ness and great durability make it an excellent wood for this 
purpose. It is also used for fence posts, ties, telegraph 
poles, canoes and boats. * The branches invariably grow 
on the south side of the tree, a peculiarity which serves the 
Indians for a compass. 1 


Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch (Betula lenta). 
This makes the heaviest, hardest and best lumber of all 
the birches on account of its deep colour and thin sap wood. 
The wood is fine in grain and texture, takes a fine polish, 
and when stained resembles mahogany. It was formerly 
employed in shipbuilding for keels and planking, and is now 
extensively used for furniture, cabinet work and hub stock. 
From its bark, by steam distillation, is made a substitute for 
wintergreen oil. 

Yellow Birch (Betula lutea) . This species is found associ 
ated very commonly with sugar maple and beech. The heart 
wood of this tree is sometimes called black birch. It is ex 
tensively used for lumber, hardwood flooring, and in turnery. 
It makes an excellent fuel wood, and has been tried for pulp, 
but the bleaching of it is an expensive operation. 

Paper Birch, Canoe Birch (Betula papyrifera). The wood 
of this species is only moderately hard and heavy, strong and 
tough, and it lacks durability. The heart wood is light red 
or reddish brown, the sap wood very white and with a peculiar 
odour. It is used largely as a spool wood, also for shoe-pegs, 
shoe-shanks, lasts, novelties, fuel and pulp. It is said to 
yield an excellent charcoal, but is no longer used for that 

1 Robert Cooney, History of the Northern Part of New Brunswick and District 
of Gaspe. 


White Ash (Fraxinus Americana). This wood is remark 
able for its straight grain and great flexibility. It is usually 
coarse-grained but of fine texture, much heavier than the 
black ash, and whiter in colour. It is used mainly for car 
sills, vehicles, implements, handles, wagon and carriage 
stock, bent woodwork and sporting goods. For the manu 
facture of oars it is preferred to all other woods. 

Black Ash, Hoop Ash (Fraxinus nigra). The wood is 
soft and weak, but durable in the soil. Ring shake is very 
common in black ash, a fact that has caused it to be exten 
sively used by the Indians for baskets. It is important in 
the making of school furniture, cabinet work, and cooperage, 
being used for staves, heading and hoops for butter tubs. 

Poplars (Populus tremuloides and Populus grandidentata) . 
It is impossible to separate the wood of these two species. 
Both are found on lands that have been laid waste by fire. 
They were used by the old settlers for plates, dishes and other 
forms of wooden ware, but are now used chiefly for flooring, 
lumber, and in turnery and cooperage. The fibre is long 
and tough and very white, and they are being used more 
extensively every year in the manufacture of pulp. They 
are useful in affording a shelter for valuable conifers which 
burst from the soil with vigorous life beneath their shade. 

Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera) . In the character 
of bark and foliage and of its wood the balsam poplar resembles 
closely the other poplars, the uses being identical. Cooney 
says : From its buds, there is extracted by boiling, a viscous, 
or gluey substance, which, incorporated with mutton suet, 
makes an excellent salve, and when mixed with hog s lard, 
furnishes a rich pomatum. It also makes agreeable bitters 
when saturated with dilute spirits. 

American Beech (Fagus Americana). The wood of the 
beech is hard, heavy and tough, with an unpleasant odour 
when wet, and is very perishable in the soil. Young timber 
is cross-grained and hard to split, and old timber is often 
called red beech, the red colour indicating incipient decay. 
It is largely used for fuel, lumber, plane stock, veneers for 
baskets, etc., and for the manufacture of wood alcohol and 
charcoal. The kernel of the nut, according to Cooney, 


* when boiled, becomes farinaceous and makes tolerably good 

Sugar Maple, Rock Maple (Acer saccharum). This is 
one of the most important of the maples. The uses of maple 
are many and varied. It makes excellent fuel, and has no 
superior for flooring, interior finish of railway cars, the keels 
of boats and ships, implements, handles, saddle-trees, school 
furniture, etc. It is a fine charcoal wood, and from it acetic 
acid is manufactured. Its ashes are used for the manufacture 
of soft soap. Bird s-eye maple is of this species, and when 
converted into sawed veneers becomes very valuable as a 
furniture and cabinet wood. 

Butternut (Juglans cinerea). This tree was originally 
very common on rich bottom land and sloping hillsides, but 
is now scarce. The wood is light, soft and weak, and works 
with ease. The heart wood is a lighter brown than that of 
black walnut, but darkens with age. It is used largely for 
cabinets and coffins, and the inferior grades for heading. 
As it is very durable, it is found serviceable for posts and ties. 

The main points of difference between the species of New 
Brunswick and Nova Scotia consist in the absence of bass- 
wood from the hardwood list and of the cedar among conifers 
in the latter province. Red spruce forms the bulk of the 
coniferous timber, while white spruce and balsam fir have 
taken possession of the abandoned pastures. According 
to the recent forest survey, spruce forms about sixty per 
cent, hemlock about thirty per cent, and white pine ten per 
cent of the coniferous cut, the proportions however varying 
considerably in different localities. The species seem to be 
localized. Thus Shelburne and Queens Counties contain the 
most white pine ; spruce predominates along the western 
coast ; hemlock is prominent in the central portion ; and 
Cape Breton Island is a veritable fir country. 

While some twenty-five broad-leaved species might be 
enumerated, most of them occur only sporadically. The 
three main species, forming the hardwood type, named in 
sequence of their numerical occurrence, are beech, maple 
and yellow birch. Paper birch is found throughout the 


province, but is especially abundant in the eastern part. 
Grey or white birch (Betula populifolia), together with the 
aspens, covers large areas of burned land and is used locally 
for barrel hoops. The only oak the red oak (Quercus 
rubra) is rarely found as a lumber tree, but produces an 
inferior growth on rocky and gravelly ridges. 



THE Maple Sugar Industry. The making of maple sugar 
from the sap of the rock and white maples was first 
carried on by the Indians. At an early date some 
of the islands along the Restigouche River in the county of 
Gloucester were occupied as * sugaries by the Indians. 
Dr L. W. Bailey refers to the industry being carried on by 
the French in Madawaska County, and says that in 1876 
there was but little other sugar used there. The trees were 
tapped with an ax about April I, and the sap was received 
in bark dishes. It was then boiled into a clear syrup, strained 
through flannel and reboiled to the consistency of sugar. 
When put into large bark or wooden moulds to cool, it 
acquired a hardness and transparency something like the 
English refined sugar. From this humble beginning has been 
evolved an industry of some magnitude. Recent census 
authorities place the yearly output for the Maritime Provinces 
at half a million pounds, with an average selling price, during 
a sixty-year period, of about ten cents per pound. Steel 
spiles are now used instead of wooden spouts ; the auger 
replaces the ax as a tapping instrument ; covered buckets, 
the old-time wooden trough hewed from logs ; and the 
modern evaporator, the old-fashioned large iron kettles. 
The improved methods of manufacturing now in vogue 
give an increased amount of pure, clean sap, and in the end 
a finer commercial product. 

Naval Stores. The term naval stores comprises all the 
resinous products obtained from coniferous trees, and was 


applied to these substances because some of them were used 
in pitching ships and boats. The term includes resin or 
crude turpentine, oil or spirits of turpentine, resin or colo 
phony, brewer s pitch, wood tar and oil of tar. In the list 
of exports from the port of St Andrews for the year 1825 we 
find mention of 234 barrels of naval stores. Just which of 
the above derivatives was meant the record does not show, 
nor is the price given. That it might have been tar is easily 
assumed from a reference found in a history of Nova Scotia, 
where there is mention of pine trees being cut down, put 
into kilns, and enough pitch obtained for paying the seams 
of boats. The product was probably not resin, since the 
modern turpentine was still unknown in that locality. At 
the present time turpentine and Stockholm tar are being 
made in New Brunswick by distillation from the stumps 
of the Norway pine (Pinus resinosa), which contains a large 
amount of resin. The turpentine so made has a slightly 
different odour from the orchard turpentine of the south, 
and does not command as high a price in the market. 

Pulpwood. The main requisites of a good pulpwood are 
that the wood fibres or tracheids, as the case may be, should 
be long, tough and resistant ; that it should have a maximum 
of fibres and a minimum of wood parenchyma ; should be as 
colourless as possible so as not to require too much bleaching ; 
and should be straight-grained, free from knots and defects, 
as well as from tannin, resins and gums. Spruce is the wood 
that pre-eminently meets all of the above requirements, 
and those next in order of importance are balsam fir, hemlock 
and poplar. The importance of balsam as a pulpwood is 
increasing ; this is also the case with hemlock, slabs of 
which are now being used in New Brunswick for the pro 
duction of soda pulp. In 1909 New Brunswick produced 
88,450 cords of pulpwood at an average of $4.69 a cord. 
Nova Scotia produced 25,076 cords, for which the price 
received was $4.07 a cord. According to Charles E. Oak, 
31,500 cords of rossed wood were shipped from the Miramichi 
alone in 1909. The average value of pulp as given for the 
whole Dominion in the year 1909 was $14.67 per ton for 
mechanical, and $36.35 for chemical, pulp. 


The law enacted by the legislature of the Province of 
New Brunswick prohibiting the exportation of pulpwood 
from crown lands took effect in August 1912. The object 
of this law was not only to prevent the cutting of small 
material for pulpwood on crown lands, but also to encourage 
the manufacture of pulp within the province. 

Spool-wood. The spool industry is dependent very largely 
upon the paper birch (Betula papyrifera), this species being 
almost the only one used for spools, as well as for shoe-pegs, 
shoe-shanks and toothpicks. For spool manufacture the 
wood must be sound and free from red heart, coarse knots, 
blue stains or pith flecks. This means, of course, that only 
the best of the birch can be utilized, and there is a very large 
amount of waste due to these defects. Yellow birch and 
grey birch have been found a little too hard for spools, but 
can be used. The logs are sawed, usually in the woods by 
small portable mills, into spool bars or squares, about four 
feet long and square in cross section, of various sizes according 
to the size of spool desired. With good clear birch, two 
cords of logs will yield a thousand board feet of spool bars, 
there being a very large waste due to saw-kerf. Scotland 
is probably the heaviest consumer of birch for spools, and 
two million feet of spoolwood were shipped there from the 
Miramichi alone in 1909. 

Shingles. The northern white cedar (Thuya occiden- 
talis), being light and very durable, is the main shingle 
wood of the Maritime Provinces. Cedar logs are driven to 
the mills along with other species used for lumber, and a 
thousand board feet of cedar will produce about eight thou 
sand shingles. Logs are cut up into bolts about sixteen 
inches long, and passed to a rossing machine where the bark 
is removed by revolving knives. They are then sent to the 
shingle machine, which has a capacity of about thirteen 
thousand shingles a day. The shingles are then packed into 
bunches and graded according to defects. The prices of 
shingles are : Extra, $3 per thousand ; Clear, $2.50 ; Second 
clear, $2 ; Extra No. I, $1.25 ; No. I, $i. The following 
statistics were compiled by the Forestry branch in 1910 on 
the shingle industry of the three provinces : 





Total Value 

per M feet 

New Brunswick . 
Nova Scotia 
Prince Edward 













Lath. Spruce and white pine are the two most important 
species used for lath, together forming nearly seventy per 
cent of the output. Many other species are used, and they 
are either cut by small portable mills or made from slabs in 
connection with large mills. According to the Forestry 
branch in 1910, New Brunswick, by cutting 62,597,000 more 
lath than in the year previous, increased its proportion of 
the total for Canada from one-fifth to one-quarter. The 
figures for the three provinces were : 


Total Value 

Value per M 

New Brunswick 
Nova Scotia 
Prince Edward Island . 









The Cooperage Industry. The burning of limestone was 
one of the important branches of business carried on about 
the year 1770 by the firm of Simonds and White at St John. 
According to early accounts, one of the greatest difficulties 
experienced by this firm was the procuring of casks for lime 
shipment. To overcome this the firm established their own 
cooper shop at Portland Point, but with hand labour they 
were only able to turn out a few casks each day. The work 
of procuring staves for tight barrels and casks must have 
grown immensely with the expansion of the fishery trade, 
because oak, ash and spruce staves and hogshead shocks 
began to be listed in considerable quantities among the 
exports. In 1821 there were shipped from the port of St 
John almost six million staves, worth sixty shillings per 
thousand. With the shipment of lime, apples and potatoes, 



both in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, there has been a 
great development of the slack cooperage industry, and 
many barrels, as well as staves, heading and hoops, are 
shipped in from Ontario to supply the demand. 

Tan Bark and Tanning Extracts. The bark of the eastern 
hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis) contains from eight to fifteen 
per cent of tannin, but the quantity used is steadily decreas 
ing. At the present time the tendency is towards the use 
of extracts, which are made by grinding the bark, subjecting 
the chips to the action of hot water or steam, and concen 
trating the infusion obtained by evaporation in retorts. A 
cord of hemlock bark, weighing 2240 pounds, yields about 
fifty gallons of extract, which weighs 550 pounds. Hemlock 
bark extract containing as high as thirty-three per cent of 
tannin is now being manufactured by a plant at Millerton, 
New Brunswick. This plant turns out 150 tons a week and 
consumes from eight to ten thousand cords of hemlock bark 
a year in the manufacture of extracts for tanning leather. 

Canada Balsam. The earliest mention of this product 
is in Cooney s History of New Brunswick, where it is described 
as a glutinous matter within the outside bark of Balsam 
Fir (Abies balsamea), which, when compounded with the 
yolk of fresh eggs, makes an excellent salve for green wounds.* 
Canada balsam or Canadian balsam, as Cooney calls it, 
is obtained by piercing with a sharp-pointed instrument the 
resin vesicles or blisters found in the bark of this tree. It is 
used largely by opticians in the cementing of lenses, and by 
histologists for the mounting of microscopic objects. 







Maritime Provinces are situated in the same 
latitude as Southern France and Northern Italy. 
The south-west part of Nova Scotia reaches lati 
tude 43 30 and the north-west part of New Brunswick 
latitude 48. The natural advantages of the latitude are 
somewhat modified by cool Arctic currents. The influence 
of these currents, however, is partly offset in Southern 
Nova Scotia by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, which 
approach very nearly to the shore of the province. 

On account of their latitude and the effect of surround 
ing waters, the climate of the Maritime Provinces is free 
from the extremes of heat and cold which prevail in the 
inland parts of America. Owing to the retarding influences 
of the Arctic currents, spring usually opens from ten to fifteen 
days later than in the peninsula of Ontario, but, to offset 
this, the autumn season is more prolonged. The highest 
temperatures of summer are from six to ten degrees below 
those of Ontario, and, except in Northern New Brunswick, 
the lowest winter temperatures are equally higher. Along 
the southern shore of Nova Scotia the winter climate is 
still more moderate. The average summer temperature 
for the whole area is between 60 and 65 F., and the 
corresponding winter average is from 15 to 25. During 
the months of July and August there are occasional days 



when the temperature rises to between 90 and 100, and 
there are days in January and February when the tem 
perature falls to from 15 to 25 below zero. These are 
the extremes. 

The average precipitation is between thirty-five and 
forty-five inches, except along the southern coast of Nova 
Scotia, where it is about ten inches greater. This precipi 
tation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the season, 
although there are occasional summers when a moderate 
drought, lasting from two to four weeks, may prevail during 
the months of July and August. 


Topographically the Maritime Provinces consist of con 
trasting lowland and upland areas. Except in Prince Edward 
Island, where conditions are much more uniform than on 
the mainland, the larger areas of fertile soil are almost 
entirely confined to the lowland areas. Such fertile soils as 
exist in the upland areas lie mainly in the river valleys or 
in comparatively small pockets on the higher levels. 

In few parts of the world is the direct connection existing 
between the character of the underlying strata and that of 
the soil better exemplified. A knowledge of the geological 
features is therefore of great advantage to the student who 
would become familiar with the soil characteristics of the 
Maritime Provinces. There has been considerable glacia- 
tion and water transportation of soil. Still, these forces have 
not acted as extensively as elsewhere, the transportation in 
most cases being not for greater distances than a few miles. 
Hence the character of the various soils has been largely 
determined by the rocks on which they rest or by rocks which 
occur in close proximity. 

To illustrate this conformity between the geological strata 
and the character of the soil, the following particulars may 
be noted : In Prince Edward Island and adjacent lowland 
areas on the mainland, the Red Carboniferous and Permo- 
Carboniferous strata have yielded a red soil. The sandy 


measures, so extensively developed in the Carboniferous 
areas in the south-east of New Brunswick, have furnished 
sandy and comparatively infertile soils. The pre-Cambrian 
and intrusive volcanic measures of Southern Nova Scotia 
and Central New Brunswick have furnished very little arable 
land, such as there is being confined to scattered pockets 
on the higher levels and to intervale soils in the valleys. 
Over seventy-five per cent of the fertile arable lands over 
lie Carboniferous, Permo-Carboniferous, Triassic, and, in 
Northern New Brunswick, Upper Silurian strata. 

With a single exception the Triassic measures bordering 
the Basin of Minas and the eastern shores of the Bay of 
Fundy the strata of the Maritime Provinces are of Palaeo 
zoic and pre-Cambrian age, with associated granite and vol 
canic measures of different ages. The lowland areas are, in 
the main, underlain by Carboniferous, Permo-Carboniferous 
and Triassic measures, and these are predominantly shales, 
sandstones and conglomerates. The uplands are, for the 
most part, underlain by Permo-Carboniferous, Palaeozoic and 
pre-Cambrian measures, with associated volcanic and granitic 
rocks of different ages that, in certain districts, occupy large 
areas. The Permo-Carboniferous measures also include shales, 
sandstones, conglomerates, limestones and other calcareous 


From an agricultural standpoint there are three leading 
geological districts in Nova Scotia : 

1. The soils of the Atlantic seaboard pre-Cambrian. 

2. The soils of the inland hills Silurian, Devonian and 
older rocks. 

3. The soils to the northern part of the province 
Carboniferous, Permo-Carboniferous, Triassic, or New Red 

A fourth general group may be added, namely, the 
marine and river alluvia, or marsh and intervale soils, which 
exist in all the geological districts. 

i. The Atlantic seaboard, consisting of the whole south 


shore and extending inland for from thirty to fifty miles, 
is underlain by one of the oldest rock formations on the 
continent the pre-Cambrian or gold-bearing rock series cut 
by granite intrusions of much younger age. The agricul 
ture of this area is largely confined to pockets of land that 
have accumulated along the banks of the numerous rivers or 
occasionally on higher levels. The greater part of this area 
is so encumbered with stones and rocks as to be absolutely 
uncultivable. Two classes of soil exist : (a) Coarse, sandy 
soils, often covered with black vegetable mould, derived from 
decomposed granite, gneiss and mica slate ; (b) Soils derived 
from slate, which are generally stiff clays, though sometimes 
light and shingly. These latter soils predominate, and, when 
arable, are unexcelled for fertility. 

2. North of this area are the inland hills, including the 
South Mountain and the Cobequid Mountains running east 
and west on the mainland, and constituting the larger part 
of the hills of Cape Breton. This area is composed mostly 
of Silurian and Devonian rocks. There is little continuous 
agricultural land, but where soils have accumulated to any 
depth, as in the river valleys and on the mountain slopes, 
such as at New Annan, Lochaber and Northern Cape Breton, 
they are very fertile. 

3. The greater part of the farming lands of the province 
are to be found to the north of these hills, and consist 
of Carboniferous, Permo-Carboniterous and Triassic areas, 
bordering the shores of the Gulf of St Lawrence and extending 
westward along the shores of the Basin of Minas and includ 
ing the whole Annapolis Valley. This district includes a 
great variety of soils, which may be generally divided as 
follows : (a) Loamy soils of the Carboniferous and Permo- 
Carboniferous districts, extending all the way from Mabou 
in Cape Breton to Windsor in Hants County and to Chignecto 
in Cumberland County. The prevailing soil is a sandy or 
clay loam, usually of a reddish colour, and is equal to the 
best upland of any country, (b) Clays, sands and stony 
grounds of the Carboniferous districts scattered irregularly 
throughout the whole area. The heavier soils, when drained, 
are strong and productive, but the lighter soils are usually 


very poor, (c) Loams and sands of the Triassic or New 
Red Sandstone area. These are to be found mostly along 
the head-waters of the Bay of Fundy, and are well typified 
at Truro. They are generally of a bright-red colour and are 
among the earliest soils of the province. They extend into 
the Annapolis Valley, in parts of which, however, they are 
commingled with clays and sands deported by glacial and 
river action. From Cape Blomidon to Digby extending 
inland for some four or five miles is a trap rock district of the 
Triassic age, consisting of slate rock. This section is called 
the North Mountain, and shelters the Annapolis Valley from 
the winds of the Bay of Fundy. The soil varies from a 
loam to a clay, and when properly farmed, except where it 
is shallow, is very productive. 

4. Alluvial soils constitute a large proportion of the most 
fertile parts both of Nova Scotia and the other Mari 
time Provinces. In Nova Scotia they are divided into : 
(i) Intervale soils or fresh-water alluvia, which occur along 
most of the rivers in variable quantities these soils are 
nearly all productive, but in many parts are greatly depleted 
by exhaustive systems of cropping ; (2) Marsh-lands or salt 
water alluvia, which consist of soils swept up from every 
exposed bank and cliff by the great tides of the Bay of Fundy, 
and deposited at high tides in mud-flats, which have gradu 
ally been added to until it was possible to dike them and 
keep back the waters of the sea. 

The marsh-lands vary in texture from light loams to 
heavy clays. They compose an area of over 50,000 acres 
in Nova Scotia and a like amount in the adjoining parts of 
New Brunswick. They are extremely fertile, having been 
known in some cases to produce, for over a century, enormous 
crops of hay without the use of manures or fertilizers. These 
lands are, for the most part, used for the production of hay, 
although considerable grain and sometimes even roots are 
grown upon them. 


There are four well-defined geological areas in the province 
of New Brunswick : 


1. From Cape Tormentine, at the south-eastern extremity 
of the province, as an apex, there extends a large triangular 
area, embracing about one-third of the province, belonging 
to Middle and Lower Carboniferous formations. This area 
is continuous with the Carboniferous and Permo-Carboni- 
ferous areas of Nova Scotia. A line from Cape Tormentine 
along the Gulf of St Lawrence to Bathurst, on Chaleur Bay, 
is the eastern boundary of this formation ; a diagonal line 
from Bathurst to Oromocto Lake (about fifty miles south-west 
of Fredericton) is the north-western boundary ; and a line 
from Oromocto Lake to Cape Tormentine is the southern 
boundary. This formation contains large deposits of coal and 
is attracting much attention at the present time on account 
of the oil-shales of Albert County. Agriculturally, that 
land which overlies the red sandstone rock, as at Bathurst 
in the north, the valley of the Kennebecasis River and other 
parts between Albert and Westmorland Counties in the 
south, is very fertile. A large part of this area, however, 
where the rocks are greyish and sandy, is covered with a 
light, hungry soil that is usually unproductive. 

2. To the south of this Carboniferous district is a tri 
angular area bordering on the Bay of Fundy, including the 
lands around St John, and continuing eastward. This area 
consists of granite intrusions, flanked with pre-Cambrian 
and Palaeozoic strata of limestone, slate and sandstone, with 
here and there intrusions of Huronian and Devonian rock. 
There are also along the shores of the Bay of Fundy small 
patches of Triassic trap rock, corresponding to those of the 
North Mountain in Nova Scotia. This area is very broken 
and hilly, but there are river valleys and coast indentations 
where the accumulated soils are very fertile. 

3. The most striking feature of the geological formations 
of New Brunswick is a sort of axis of granite rock running 
diagonally from the south-western boundary (at the State 
of Maine line) to Bathurst on Chaleur Bay. This granite 
rock is flanked on either side by slates and granites of the 
Cambrian and pre-Cambrian periods. The whole belt ranges 
in width from three to twelve miles, and is largely metalli 
ferous, containing the iron deposits of Gloucester County, 







as well as other valuable minerals. There is very little agri 
culture in this district. 

4. North of this belt, occupying the greater part of the 
rest of the province and extending into Quebec, is an area 
largely underlain by Upper Silurian rocks. This formation 
occupies the entire country along the St John River above 
Woodstock and extends across the Restigouche River into 
Quebec. It also includes the greater part of the valley of 
the Tobique, where, however, it is to some extent overlapped 
by Lower Carboniferous sediments. Probably the most 
fertile soils in New Brunswick are to be found in this area. 
The greater part, however, is still occupied by dense forests 
and awaits the ax of the settler before it can be farmed. 

As in Nova Scotia, a large proportion of the most 
fertile soils of New Brunswick is the so-called intervale and 
marsh soils. The marsh soils bordering on the Bay of 
Fundy are continuous with, and about equally extensive 
with, those of Nova Scotia. Intervale soils are to be found 
along the banks of nearly all the numerous rivers, the most 
extensive and fertile being those in the valleys of the Rivers 
St John, Tobique and Kennebecasis. 


The rock strata of Prince Edward Island are now classed 
by geologists as belonging entirely to the Permo-Carboniferous 
period, and the soils are composed of the disintegrated rocks 
of this formation, mixed with boulder clay which was spread 
to various depths during the Glacial period. 

The surface is gently undulating. A range of low hills 
crosses the island from New London to Bonshaw and east 
ward to Wiltshire and Rustico. Small ranges of hills extend 
from Belfast, through Caledonia, to Montague, and from 
Souris to East Point. Unlike the mainland, the arable soils 
of Prince Edward Island are continuous and not broken up, 
and agriculture, therefore, occupies a relatively more promi 
nent position than in either of the other provinces. 

The rocks consist principally of red, brown and grey 
sandstone and red clay shale, with layers of coarse, concre- 



tionary limestone. The soil is generally a fine, red, sandy 
loam, rich and easily cultivated. Several varieties occur, 
corresponding with the rock formations. Clay or clay loam 
soils are found in the western part of the island, extending as 
far east as Summerside, and about Charlottetown, Pownall, 
Orwell, Vernon River and Nine Mile Creek. These are the 
product of great shale beds mixed with boulder clays. 

Light, sandy, or sandy loam soils are found in Bedeque, 
Freetown, Emerald and other parts of Prince County, and 
in nearly all the southern part of Kings County and the 
eastern part of Queens County, having been formed from 
the stratified sands of the Lower Permian, mixed with small 
quantities of boulder clay. Unless carefully cultivated, they 
are easily exhausted of their fertility. 

The best and most extensively distributed soil is formed 
by the boulder clay formation overlying the sandstone tracks 
of the Lower Permian. It is a fine, sandy loam, friable and 
easily tilled. In some places it has accumulated in moraines, 
as at Dunstaffnage and in Victoria Park at Charlottetown. 



THE Province of Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton, 
has a length of about 350 miles and a width vary 
ing from 50 to 100 miles. The total land area is 
13,483,681 acres. The surface is of a varied character, 
being intersected by ranges of hills and mountains, between 
which lie fertile valleys. The Atlantic seaboard consists 
of rocky highlands, north of which lie the inland hills. This 
whole area is covered with a network of lakes which find 
their outlets to the sea by numerous rivers, along the banks 
of which are many fertile, though somewhat isolated, areas 
of cultivated land. Here and there, as in North Queens 
County, are fairly extensive upland areas, free enough from 
stones to be capable of cultivation, which support a pros- 


perous agriculture. The larger agricultural areas are found 
in the northern half of the province and consist of river 
valleys, such as the famed Annapolis and Cornwallis Valleys, 
and of extensive undulating areas gradually sloping towards 
the northern shores. 

In so far as agriculture is concerned, there have been four 
principal lines of settlement in Nova Scotia : 

1. The French colonization, beginning at Port Royal 
(Annapolis) in 1605 and extending along the Bay of Fundy 
from Yarmouth County in the west to Cumberland in the 
east, and northwards into South-Eastern New Brunswick. 
A little later, French settlements were established in parts 
of Cape Breton, in the vicinity of the fortress at Louisbourg. 

2. The German colonization of Lunenburg, 1751-53. 

3. The colonization by settlers from what is now known 
as the New England States, beginning about 1760 and largely 
augmented by the loyalists in 1775-83. These immigrants 
settled for the most part in the areas originally occupied by 
the French on the lands adjoining the Bay of Fundy and the 
neighbouring rivers. A smaller proportion settled in the 
east, mainly near Pictou on the mainland and Sydney in 
Cape Breton Island. 

4. The colonization from Great Britain, consisting mostly 
of immigrants from Scotland, who settled the larger part of 
the country from Colchester County eastwards. This flow 
of immigration began about 1773 and large numbers con 
tinued to come until 1828. Since that time the immigration 
from Great Britain and other parts of Europe has been more 

It will be seen that Halifax, settled in 1749, has not been 
included in the above. This settlement was made more as 
a military headquarters than for economic purposes. There 
is little arable land near Halifax, and for years the settle 
ment depended almost wholly on English guineas for its 
support. Its main value, from an agricultural standpoint, 
rested on the fact that it constituted a market for the produce 
of the farm and developed into the leading shipping port of 
the province. 

The first settlement to leave its permanent impress on 


Nova Scotia was that made by the French at Port Royal in 
1605. In this year and at this spot was grown the first wheat 
ever raised in America, and here in the same year was erected 
the first water-wheel to turn a millstone for the grinding of 
wheat on the North American continent. From this time, 
until 1755, the French population was practically the only 
European population in Nova Scotia. It is noteworthy that 
these French people selected lands that are to-day the highest 
priced in the Maritime Provinces, such, for example, as the 
Annapolis Valley and the marsh-land areas along the head 
waters of the Bay of Fundy. They were not, like the later 
British settlers, ready to win farms from the forest, but pre 
ferred to utilize these marsh-lands which they could wrest 
from the sea by means of dikes similar to those their fore 
fathers had learned to construct on the Bay of Biscay. With 
the exception of a few cattle landed on Sable Island in 1518 
and others brought out by Cartier in 1541, which were subse 
quently destroyed, the first permanent introduction of domestic 
cattle into what are now British dominions on this continent 
was at Port Royal, where, in 1606, Poutrincourt brought 
some cows. By the middle of the eighteenth century the 
early French settlers had gathered together many thousands 
of cows, oxen, sheep and hogs. 

The Acadians, whose story is related in another part of 
this work, were expelled from Nova Scotia in I755. 1 During 
their occupancy of the province they established good farms, 
comfortable homes and beautiful gardens. Their principal 
legacies to future generations were the diking of the great 
marsh areas and the planting of fruit-trees that formed the 
foundation of what is now one of the most extensive industries 
in the province. A few of the Acadians escaped the Expulsion, 
and were afterwards joined by some of the exiles who found 
their way back to Nova Scotia, and these established settle 
ments, which are still in existence, in Yarmouth, Digby and 
parts of Cape Breton. 

From 1755 to 1760 the fields which had been occupied by 
the Acadians lay idle. With a view to their settlement 
Governor Lawrence issued a proclamation in 1758, inviting 

1 See p. 89 et seq. 


settlers in the region now known as the New England States 
to move over to these lands. The following is part of his 
proclamation : 

One hundred thousand acres on which the country has 
produced wheat, rye, barley, oats, hemp, flax, etc., with 
out failure for the last century ; and another one hundred 
thousand acres has been cleared and stocked with English 
grass, planted with orchards and embellished with gar 
dens, the whole so intermixed that every individual 
farmer might have a proportionate quantity of plowed 
land, grass land, and wood land. 

In 1760 and succeeding years a considerable number of 
New Englanders moved to Nova Scotia and received grants 
of these lands. This population was greatly increased 
between 1775 and 1783 by the arrival from the United States 
of the loyalists. The descendants of these settlers constitute 
a large proportion of the Anglo-Saxon population of the 
western counties of Nova Scotia as well as part of the east. 
Those who settled in the Bay of Fundy country found the 
dikes very much dilapidated and most of the meadows 
under water. They were ignorant of the manner of building 
dikes, but were finally assisted by Acadians in the vicinity 
who had escaped the Expulsion. It was not, however, until 
the year 1810 that the Grand Pre marsh was encircled by a 
substantial dike. 

Shortly after the founding of Halifax, in 1749, steps were 
taken to secure settlers for Nova Scotia from Germany, and 
between 1751 and 1753 about 1615 German and Swiss 
emigrants landed at Halifax and were subsequently moved 
to Lunenburg, where, after enduring much hardship, they 
established communities. Their successors still occupy what 
is known as the county of Lunenburg, the only part of the 
Maritime Provinces where the German language is extensively 
spoken. Many of the Germans have taken to the fisheries, 
but even these have beautiful gardens, and a very con 
siderable number are engaged in farming. They still preserve 
many of the traditions of their native country. Lunenburg, 
for example, is the home of the cabbage in Nova Scotia, and 
every year hundreds of barrels of sauerkraut are prepared 


for use. The cereals barley and rye also occupy a more 
important place in this county than elsewhere. The inhabi 
tants take much pride in their oxen, and nowhere are finer 
specimens to be seen. 

Eastern Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton, was partially 
settled by pioneers from the New England States, but by 
far the greater number of the settlers of these lands came 
from Great Britain, the majority from the Highlands of 
Scotland. The earliest of these were soldiers of disbanded 
Highland regiments, who received grants of these lands 
about 1760, and whose favourable reports brought a further 
large influx of their countrymen. This immigration con 
tinued very steadily until about 1828, after which it began 
to decline. Most of the present occupants of these lands 
are descendants of these Scottish immigrants. As a result 
of this immigration, Eastern Nova Scotia is largely Celtic. 
This is particularly true of Cape Breton. The inhabitants 
still preserve the Gaelic speech of their ancestors. They 
have contributed many influential public and business men 
to Canada ; but, while there were noticeable exceptions, 
these Highland people did not take kindly to peaceful, 
pastoral pursuits, and did not develop as high a type of 
agriculture as the country was capable of producing. 

By the beginning of the nineteenth century the main 
lines of settlement in Nova Scotia were established. The 
population was somewhat heterogeneous, although predomi 
nantly of English and Scottish extraction. Many of the 
settlers were disbanded soldiers, and others sought the coun 
try as a place to exploit rather than as a home in which 
to make a peaceful living. With the exception of Halifax, 
markets were very small, for as yet neither mining nor 
manufacturing had begun. Prices for farm produce were 
therefore low, and it is not to be wondered at that, in the 
beginning of the nineteenth century, agriculture was in a 
backward condition. Just at this juncture a man arrived 
in Halifax who was to wield a wonderful influence on the 
country of his adoption. This man was a Scotsman, John 
Young, better known as Agricola. 

In the year 1818 a series of letters, published in the 


Acadian Recorder, a Halifax newspaper, over the signature 
of Agricola, at once caught the eye of the public. There 
were thirty-eight of these letters, and they dealt with almost 
every phase of agricultural practice followed at that time 
in the most advanced European countries. These letters 
were subsequently bound into a book entitled The Letters of 
Agricola. The book is now difficult to obtain, but for its 
style alone, aside from the information contained, is well 
worth the reading. During the time the letters were being 
published Agricola did not divulge his name. Neverthe 
less, he corresponded extensively with the leading farmers of 
the country and altogether aroused a great curiosity as to 
his identity. He started a movement for the improvement 
of agriculture in Nova Scotia, which was profound in its 
influence. One of the first-fruits of his writings was the 
organization, on December 15, 1818, of the Central Agricul 
tural Society of Nova Scotia, with headquarters in Halifax, but 
representing every part of the province. At the organization 
Agricola was made secretary, although those attending the 
meeting at which the society was formed had no idea which 
of its members was being elected to that office. A few days 
afterwards Agricola came forward and declared himself 
as John Young. 

Twenty-five agricultural societies were organized in the 
province during the next two years. It is interesting, how 
ever, to note that the Kings County Agricultural Society, 
which is still in existence, was organized thirty years earlier, 
in 1789, and there is a record of an agricultural society in 
Windsor, which held a fair on May 21, 1765. 

Since the time of Agricola agricultural societies have 
always been a prominent feature of the organization of Nova 
Scotia. At first under the control of the Central Agricultural 
Society, they were, in 1864, put under the control of a board 
of Agriculture, and in 1884 under the office of secretary for 
Agriculture which was created in that year. 

In 1885 a Chair of Agriculture was established in con 
nection with the Provincial Normal School, and in 1888 the 
nucleus of the present Agricultural College Farm was bought 
and the Nova Scotia School of Agriculture erected on this 



property. These two institutions worked together in affilia 
tion, and still continue to do so. 

In 1893 a School of Horticulture was established in 
Wolfville, and this institution and the School of Agricul 
ture were continued separately until 1905, when they were 
united and the present College of Agriculture at Truro 
established. This College of Agriculture was located at 
Truro partly because that town was central, but mainly 
because it was thought desirable to have the institution 
affiliated with the Normal School, so as to give a scientific 
and industrial training to the teachers who attended the 
latter institution. 

In 1908 a Rural Science School, held in the months of 
July and August, was established under the auspices of the 
affiliated institutions, for the benefit of teachers employed 
during the regular school year. Teachers who complete 
the course prescribed receive a Rural Science diploma, which 
qualifies a teacher who conducts a school garden and does 
scientific work in the schools to draw an extra grant from the 
provincial treasury, while the trustees draw an extra grant 
from the Municipal Fund. 

Nova Scotia Agricultural College. A statement of the 
various organizations that at present exist for the promotion 
of Agriculture in Nova Scotia is given later in this article, 1 
and from this statement it will be seen that the province 
is well organized. The whole organization centres around 
the Agricultural College, which on its present basis was 
established in Truro in February 1905. This institution 
not only provides several different courses suitable for 
various classes of students who come within its halls, but 
also conducts a large farm, stocked with some of the finest 
specimens of beef and dairy cattle, horses, swine and poultry 
which can be found at any similar institution in Canada. 
Four important courses are conducted : (i) the regular two 
years course leading to the Associate Diploma of the Col 
lege, terms from November I to April 15 ; (2) short course 
for men first two weeks of January of each year ; (3) short 
course for women first two weeks of January of each year ; 

1 See p. 657. 


(4) a Rural Science School for teachers July and August 
of each year. 

The total attendance in the first three courses during the 
first year in which the college was in existence was eighty- 
five. At the end of the seventh year of its organization this 
number had increased to 420. The largest attendance in 
the Rural Science School was 176. When it is considered 
that the constituency is relatively a small one, the reader 
must realize that few institutions of this sort are more 
appreciated by, or are supported better by, the farmers of 
the country. 

Recent Agricultural Immigration to Nova Scotia. Nova 
Scotia had received the greater proportion of its settlers 
by the year 1828. From that time, until within the past 
few years, immigration had been of a rather desultory char 
acter. But in 1907 the Nova Scotia government organized 
a department of Industries and Immigration, with A. S. 
Barnstead of Halifax as secretary, and as a result of the 
co-operation of this department with the federal depart 
ment a more systematic method of settlement has been 
organized. The result has been a larger immigration during 
the past few years than for many years in the history of 
the province, and, although this is partially offset by an 
emigration to the West, farming was never in as flourishing 
a condition as at the present time. 

Extent of Cultivable Land. Out of a total land area of 
13,483,681 acres, 5,457,000 acres are owned by farmers, 
5,750,000 acres are in forests and about 2,276,000 acres are 
more or less barren lands. Of the total acreage owned by 
farmers, 1,857,000 are regularly under the plough, 1,600,000 
acres are in pasture lands, and 2,000,000 are in wood lots. 
From these statements the reader will readily perceive that 
a small area of Nova Scotia is actually under cultivation, 
and will understand how the visitor who goes through the 
province by the ordinary railway routes sees so little of 
actual farming. It is estimated that fully three-fourths of 
the land of Nova Scotia can be either cultivated or grazed. 
The possibilities, therefore, for extending the agriculture of 
the province are great. The facts are, however, that even 


the area under the plough is not as well cultivated as it 
should be, and that, so far as the province is concerned, 
there is a greater demand for more intensive cultivation 
of the lands already cleared than for an extension of the 
cultivated area. 

The cultivated lands of the province may be divided into 
uplands, intervale lands and diked marsh -lands. By far 
the greater area of fertile land is to be found in the latter 
classes. Nova Scotian farmers, however, have been inclined 
to depend too much upon these fresh- and salt-water alluvial 
soils and have not given the uplands the attention they 
deserve. Only in one part of the province can it be said 
that the uplands are superior to the lowlands, and that is 
in the south shore counties, where the soil is composed, for 
the most part, of the decomposed slate rocks of the pre- 
Cambrian period. 

The intervale lands are to be found along the rivers and 
small streams which are so abundant in the province. There 
are no more famous intervales in the world than those of the 
Annapolis and Cornwallis Rivers, which constitute the so- 
called Annapolis Valley, celebrated the world over for the 
choicest of apples and other fruits. 

Diked marsh-lands are those tracts of fertile lands found 
along the head-waters of the Bay of Fundy, and spreading 
inland up its river tributaries, which, in earlier or later times, 
have been reclaimed from the sea. Every incoming tide 
of the Bay of Fundy washes up the so-called marsh mud, 
which is gradually deposited in wide flats and subsequently 
diked, constituting a most fertile soil. Altogether there 
are in Nova Scotia over 50,000 acres of this marsh-land, 
which for years have been yielding from two to three tons 
of hay per acre annually, without any application of manure 
or fertilizer, and have, in addition, afforded fall pasturage 
for large herds of cattle. Cereal crops and even hoed crops 
to a limited extent are grown on these lands, but the main 
crop is hay. Those farmers w r hose upland fields adjoin 
marsh areas haul large quantities of the marsh mud on to 
their upland fields, and find it a very valuable fertilizer. 



The most prevalent types of farming in Nova Scotia 
are general farming and fruit farming. Fruit farming is, 
for the most part, confined to the valleys referred to above, 
and adjoining areas to be specific, Hants, Kings, Annapolis 
and Digby Counties. It is followed to a lesser extent in the 
south shore counties of Lunenburg and Queens. There are 
other parts of the province where fruit-growing is practised, 
but not to the same degree as in these areas. 

Even in the so-called fruit-growing counties general 
farming is followed to a considerable extent, but in the 
remaining counties of the province it is the prevalent type. 
Under the term general farming are included those types 
of farming in which cattle take a primary place and those 
in which they take a secondary place, for it unfortunately 
happens that many of the general farmers keep a minimum 
of stock and sell too much hay, grain, etc., for the good of 
their farms. The more prosperous farmers keep a larger 
proportion of live stock, and the well-wishers of the province 
look to the day when their example will be followed by 
farmers all over the country. 

Of the various types of live-stock farming, dairying stands 
easily first. Beef-raising, except in special areas, is not as 
profitable. The country is well adapted to sheep, and, more 
especially in the eastern counties of the province, this industry 
ought to be largely increased. Hog-raising is capable of 
expansion in proportion to the amount of dairying done. 
Horse-raising is profitable ; and poultry may be depended 
upon to give good returns. 

Crops. There is fifty per cent more land under hay in the 
province of Nova Scotia than under all the other crops put 
together. Oats are next in importance, followed by potatoes, 
and then turnips. Wheat is grown to a considerable extent, 
as are the other cereals barley, rye, buckwheat, etc. Much 
of the land which is now yielding hay should be producing 
cereals and hoed crops. The unfortunate practice of leaving 
land down to hay for four or five, and sometimes ten and 



twelve years or more, is responsible for a large number of 
poor farms and for badly run-out fields. Where a proper 
rotation of crops is followed, the yields of the standard crops 
will compare favourably with those in any other part of 
Canada. The following table will give a general idea of the 
average yield per acre throughout the whole province, and 
the average yield on well-cultivated farms : 


Average yield per acre 
for whole province 

Average yield per acre on 
well-tilled farms 


I 5 tons 

2-5 to 3-5 tons 


30 bush. 

40 to 70 bush. 

Barley . 

24 bush. 

35 to 45 bush. 

Wheat . 

20 bush. 

25 to 30 bush. 


20 bush. 

25 to 30 bush. 


175 bush. 

200 to 400 bush. 


600 bush. 

700 to 900 bush. 


600 bush. 

800 to noo bush. 

Market Gardening. Market gardening holds forth splendid 
inducements to Nova Scotia farmers. The markets afforded 
by the mining and manufacturing towns are good, but up to 
the present time they have had to rely upon imported products. 
With the aid of hotbeds, cold frames and glass houses any 
kind of vegetable that can be grown in the temperate climates 
of the world can be grown to advantage in this province. 

Fruit Farming. Fruit farming in Nova Scotia is in a 
flourishing condition. The industry is an old one, but did 
not begin to make rapid strides until within the past thirty 
years. In 1 880 the province exported some 20,000 barrels 
of apples to Great Britain. In 1911 the export to the various 
markets of the world was over 1,500,000 barrels. The 
standard fruit grown is the apple. Plums, cherries, the 
hardier varieties of pears, strawberries and the various other 
small fruits thrive equally well. Peaches and grapes are 
grown only to a limited extent, in specially favoured spots, 
the climate being scarcely warm enough for the production of 
these more tender fruits on an extensive scale. The industry 
dates back to the fruit gardens of the Acadians, which were 


set out in Annapolis and Kings Counties long before the 
time of the Expulsion. Some of the old French trees still 

Following the Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755 the 
country was left vacant and the old gardens grew wild. The 
fruit falling to the ground and carried into the bushes by 
birds and squirrels threw up seedlings everywhere, so that 
the English settlers who came from the United States in 
1760 and later had only to select from these natural nurseries. 
Many years after, these seedlings were grafted to better 
sorts, and some of these old trees still exist. Among the first 
to commence grafting was Colonel John Burbidge, an 
Englishman, who settled at Town Plot in Cornwallis in 1764. 
He imported scions of several varieties of apples from his 
home in England, among them the Nonpareil. 

Bishop Inglis (the first Bishop of Nova Scotia) received a 
grant of land near Aylesford in 1790 and at once commenced 
setting out orchards. He imported the Yellow Bellfleur, 
which received the name of Bishop Pippin, one of the favourite 
varieties in Nova Scotia at the present time. 

A number of other names might be associated with 
introduction of standard varieties of fruit in Nova Scotia, 
but Charles R. Prescott, Starr s Point, Kings County, should 
be mentioned. It was he who introduced the Ribston 
Pippin and the Blenheim Pippin, but he is especially remem 
bered as being the first to graft sections of the Gravenstein, 
that luscious apple which grows to great perfection in Nova 
Scotia. The first Gravenstein scions were received from 
London in 1835. 

The great development of fruit-growing has been since 
1880 when an export market was established. The industry 
is carried on as a commercial venture in the counties of 
Hants, Kings, Annapolis, Digby, and to a lesser extent in 
Lunenburg and Queens. There are also parts of Yarmouth 
County and the northern part of Cumberland, Colchester 
and Pictou Counties bordering on Northumberland Strait 
where considerable fruit-growing has been commenced, and 
where there is room for a much larger expansion. The 
government of Nova Scotia has established in every county 


of the province with the exception of Kings, the largest fruit 
growing county in the province demonstration orchards, 
each from one to two acres in extent, which in the course 
of another few years will clearly demonstrate methods of 
cultivation and varieties of fruit adaptable to every part. 
The federal government has also established at Kentville, 
in Kings County, a large fruit-experiment station. 

Advantages of Fruit-growing in Nova Scotia. Fruit 
growers of Nova Scotia consider that the province has a 
number of distinct advantages as a fruit-producing country, 
and these advantages are all shared, to a greater or less 
extent, by the fruit-growing sections of the other Maritime 
Provinces, to which reference is made in subsequent pages. 

1. The province is nearer the British and other European 
markets than any other part of the continent. 

2. The quality of the apple in particular, and of other 
fruits in general, is unsurpassed for crispness, flavour and 
keeping properties. 

3. The varieties of apples grown are practically all the 
standard sorts which command the highest price in English 
and other European markets, such as Ribston Pippin, Blen 
heim Pippin, Gravenstein, etc. 

4. The life o an apple-tree in Nova Scotia is from sixty 
to over one hundred years, in comparison with some more 
trying climates where from twenty to thirty years is about 
the life limit of a tree. 

5. The various small fruits, such as strawberries, plums, 
etc., are ready for market when the United States supply 
has become exhausted, and thus command a high price. 

It is estimated that at the present time not more than 
one-tenth of the land capable of bearing trees in the fruit- 
producing counties has been planted, and when in addition 
it is remembered that there are many other parts of the 
province where fruit-growing can be carried on, it becomes 
apparent that the ultimate production must be many times 
the present large output. 

The most striking development in fruit-growing in Nova 
Scotia of late years has been the organization of some forty 
co-operative fruit-shippers associations, which are spread 


all over the Annapolis Valley, and last year handled about 
sixty per cent of the whole crop. The organization has 
been more fully perfected by the formation of the Central 
Co-operative Fruit-Shippers - Association, which last year 
bought and sold for a considerable number of the individual 
associations, and promises to do a much larger share of the 
business in future years. When this organization is com 
pleted, it will constitute one of the largest co-operative 
farmers organizations in the world. 

The recent establishment by the Dominion government 
of a fruit experiment station at Kentville, Kings County, 
where various problems in connection with fruit-growing 
can be scientifically studied, is a valuable asset to the country, 
for with the expansion of the industry new problems will 
constantly come up which will require the most careful 
investigation for their solution. 

From this general summary it will be seen that Nova 
Scotia is a country where agriculture in all its branches is 
fairly well established, but where, nevertheless, the industry, 
in comparison with its possibilities, is in its merest infancy. 

The following organizations exist for the purpose of 
encouraging and developing agriculture in Nova Scotia : 

Department of Agriculture, Nova Scotia Farmers Associa 
tion, Nova Scotia Fruit-Growers Association, Agricultural 
College, Agricultural Societies (approximately 200), County 
Farmers Associations (twelve counties organized), Nova 
Scotia Creameries and Cheese Factories, Fruit Experiment 
Station, Dominion Experimental Farm, Maritime Stock- 
Breeders Association. 



PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND is situated in the Gulf 
of St Lawrence, off the coast of Nova Scotia and New 
Brunswick, from which it is separated by the Strait 
of Northumberland, having a width of about eight miles 
at its narrowest place. As might be inferred from its 


proximity, the climatic conditions are practically identical 
with those prevailing along the shores of the mainland, and 
the crops are not different. 

The total area is 1,397,991 acres, of which 1,194,508 acres 
are occupied and 726,285 are improved or under cultivation. 
The unimproved land consists of 350,366 acres in forest, 
2000 acres in peat bog, and 115,857 in swamp, marsh, or 
waste land. It will therefore be seen that a much larger 
proportion of the land is cultivated than in the other Mari 
time Provinces. 

The highest land has an elevation of about 300 feet, and 
the slopes are for the most part very gentle. The soil is 
largely free from rocks, and the island resembles a continuous 
farm. A climate, temperate, like that of the other Maritime 
Provinces, and a rainfall regular and abundant, result in 
almost ideal conditions for the growth of crops. 


There are three principal epochs in the history of agricul 
ture in Prince Edward Island : (i) the period of French 
settlement from about 1663 to 1759 ; (2) the period of pro 
prietors, lasting from the time at which the island passed 
under British rule till 1875 ; (3) the period of freehold 
ownership, beginning with 1875. 

The earliest settlements were made for the purpose of 
carrying on the fisheries. No settlement for the purpose of 
cultivation was made until after the Peace of Utrecht, 1713, 
after which French immigrants came directly from their 
European home and from Acadie. The French regarded the 
island of strategic value as a basis of food supply for their 
powerful fortress at Louisbourg in Cape Breton, and the 
garrison was fed in part with produce from Prince Edward 

Captain Holland, who surveyed the island in 1764, gave 
a favourable report of the condition of its agriculture, but 
his statement that the number of cattle owned at the time 
was inconsiderable shows that these early French settlers, 


unlike their brothers in Acadie, confined themselves largely 
to growing crops without restoring manure to the land. 

While landlordism 1 held sway the farmers had little 
incentive to improve their land, belonging as it did to land 
lords living in England, who had no interest in their pro 
perties except the collecting of rents through their agents. 
The land was roughly cultivated and large quantities of 
such crude products of the farm as hay and oats, in addition 
to potatoes and horses and cattle, were sold to the United 
States and elsewhere. The result was that fertile farms 
became so impoverished that many of them have not yet, 
even under better systems of management, recovered their 
native fertility. 

When the land was sold to tenants at a reasonable rate, 
a new interest sprang up in agriculture. Herds of stock were 
added to ; horses, for which the island had long been famous, 
were improved ; and the number of sheep, swine and poultry 
increased. However, during the tenant period, the farmers 
had formed the habit of selling crude products from their 
farms, more especially oats, which grew uncommonly well, 
and it was difficult for them to change their methods, even 
under the new regime. In fact, for a time the conditions 
became aggravated, for the farmers proceeded to clear the 
higher and naturally less fertile parts of their farms, and upon 
these uplands grew oats, which they exported. Many of these 
higher parts might to advantage have been left in virgin forest. 

About this time farmers began applying to their soil 
mussel mud, a deposit found at various parts of the seashore, 
which is mud in which has accumulated the remains of 
mussel, oyster and other shell-fish. This mussel mud gave 
wonderful results at first, but second and third applica 
tions proved less effectual. Chemical analyses have shown 
that mussel mud contains little of agricultural value except 
lime, which, as is well known, acts as an indirect fertilizer 
or stimulant rather than as a direct fertilizer. It is still 
used to a large extent throughout the island, and is often 
transported by the railways to inland farms. Farmers are 
fortunately learning its character, and by growing more clover 

1 See p. 337 et seq. 


and adopting shorter rotations are obtaining more permanent 
results from the application of this marine deposit. 

At first mussel mud was handled by individual farmers 
who used spades and carts. Soon, however, scows and a 
device known as a mud-digger were constructed to lift large 
quantities of this mud in the summer. Later, much of this 
digging has been done by means of mud-diggers placed on 
the ice. 

The growing and selling of crops in their crude form, 
combined with the injudicious use of mussel mud, led to a 
serious depletion of the fertility of the farms. Fortunately 
better methods have begun to prevail. The new regime 
came about with the establishment of cheese and butter 
factories, which led to the keeping of more live stock on 
the farms and the selling of manufactured products like 
butter and cheese, pork and poultry. In 1891 Dr James W. 
Robertson, then dairy commissioner for the Dominion of 
Canada, induced the federal government to supervise the 
planning and direction of cheese and butter factories. He per 
suaded the people to co-operate, and started eleven factories 
in the island. Prior to this time one cheese factory had 
been established in 1883 and a creamery in 1887, but the 
movement made little progress until it was vitalized by 
the touch of Dr Robertson s hand. As a result of the work 
inaugurated by him the co-operative idea spread, and dairy 
ing became a staple industry of the province, and through 
it much has been done to restore the fertility of farms. 
In 1910 forty-five cheese and butter factories dealt with 
49,738,910 pounds of milk. Besides, cow-testing associations 
have been formed ; a greater interest has been taken in pure 
bred and improved grade stock, and dairy cows and beef 
cattle, sheep, swine and horses have of late years received 
something of the attention they deserve. 

The government of Prince Edward Island has from time 
to time contributed largely towards assisting the farmers to 
procure improved live stock. In 1865 1000 was granted 
the secretary for the Colonies for the importation of stock, 
and in the following year the government purchased a 
stock farm, which was continued as a source of improved 


stock of various kinds until 1909, when it was disposed 
of. The first exhibition was held in 1844, and shortly after 
this commissioners were appointed to conduct exhibitions 
in each of the three counties. The Provincial Exhibition, 
which is held annually, was established in Charlottetown in 
1900. Seed fairs are held every winter. The first annual 
Provincial Seed Fair was held in Charlottetown in 1903, 
but in 1907 the place of meeting was changed to Summerside, 
where for several successive years seed fairs unexcelled in 
the Dominion of Canada have been held. Latterly, Charlotte- 
town has taken a renewed interest in this matter, and it 
remains for an organization to be effected which will lead to 
one outstanding seed fair. This is especially desirable, for 
Prince Edward Island stands first in the Dominion of Canada 
in the raising of seed of oats and other cereals, as well as 

Prior to 1901 there was not a separate department of 
Agriculture, but in that year a department was organized, 
and as a result much more educational work has been carried 
on. Farmers institutes were first organized in 1902. There 
are now forty-eight in active operation. 

There is not a separate college of agriculture in Prince 
Edward Island, but lectures on agriculture and allied subjects 
are given by the secretary for Agriculture and his assistants 
in Prince of Wales College, Charlottetown. In addition to 
this the government renders assistance to students from 
Prince Edward Island attending the Nova Scotia Agricultural 
College at Truro. Over ninety attended the short courses 
at this college in 1912. In the following year the course was 
given in Charlottetown, when five hundred persons attended. 


The proportion of cultivable land in Prince Edward 
Island is very much larger than in the other Maritime Pro 
vinces. The soil is less variable in character, and agricultural 
conditions are much more uniform. There is not the same 
distinction between intervale and upland soils that exists 
in Nova Scotia. At the same time, the inland hills are not 


as fertile as the lower and more level areas. The island is 
especially adapted to stock-raising. General farming, with 
some kind of stock as the most prominent feature, is therefore 
the prevalent type of farming. Despite the modern move 
ment towards dairying, sheep-raising, etc., grain farming 
is still carried on to some extent. Nevertheless, the good 
farmers of the province have learned that live stock is the 
mainstay of their farms. The pastures are excellent, and 
the conditions ideal for the production of large crops of hay, 
roots and grain. The earlier maturing varieties of corn can 
be grown for ensilage purposes. 

Perhaps the island has won its greatest reputation for 
the quality of its horses, for the production of which it 
occupies easily the premier position in Eastern Canada. 
But stock of all kinds thrive, the conditions being extremely 
favourable for dairy cattle and swine. The near-by settle 
ments in Cape Breton, Newfoundland and other islands of 
the Gulf of St Lawrence provide a large market for garden 
as well as ordinary farm produce, and market gardening is 
accordingly a common feature, especially near the harbours. 


Leading authorities have stated that nearly the whole 
of Prince Edward Island is adapted to fruit-growing more 
especially apples, plums and small fruits. Nevertheless, it 
is only recently that the industry has attracted any consider 
able attention. The early French settlers planted a few 
trees. The subsequent English settlers set out some orchards, 
but the varieties were not generally suitable to the soil and 
climate. During the latter half of the nineteenth century 
some ten or more men set out orchards which have given 
a good account of themselves, and which by their success 
have paved the way for a much larger development of the 
industry. The Prince Edward Island Fruit-Growers Asso 
ciation was formed in 1896 and has accomplished a good deal 
towards the development of fruit-growing. This association 
recommends the following varieties of apples as best suited 
to the province : Wealthy, Ben Davis, Stark, Alexander, 


Macintosh, Red, Wagner, and Ribston Pippin. Perhaps the 
most serious difficulty which growers are experiencing arises 
from the fact that the orchards are small and the amount of 
fruit produced in any one district is not sufficient to attract 
buyers. The organization, however, of the Co-operative Fruit 
Company and the appointment of an inspector and horti 
cultural superintendent will largely help to overcome this 

The following organizations exist for the purpose of 
encouraging and developing agriculture in Prince Edward 
Island : Department of Agriculture, Prince Edward Island 
Dairymen s Association, the Farmers Central Institute, 
Prince Edward Island Poultry Association, Fruit-Growers 
Association, Dominion Experimental Farm, Maritime Stock- 
Breeders Association. 


THE total area of New Brunswick is 17,910,000 acres, 
of which about 5,000,000 acres are occupied, 5,000,000 
acres held as private timber limits, and the balance 
held by the crown. Of the total land occupied, about 
1,474,000 acres, or less than one-tenth, is cleared from the 
forest, and 982,000 acres, exclusive of pasture, are bearing 
crops. The general surface of the country presents a series 
of bold undulations, sometimes rising into mountainous or 
continuous ridges of high land. The best of the agricultural 
land is to be found along the river valleys and the diked 
marsh areas. The climate is very similar to that of the 
other Maritime Provinces, although the northern half is 
more subject to extremes of cold. 


By the year 1804 it was reported that the various counties 
were growing enough wheat to supply the inhabitants with 
flour, and that several hundred barrels from each were for 


sale. Live stock was also kept. But, as so many of the 
settlers had never had any previous agricultural experience, 
their progress was greatly handicapped. Then, as in all the 
years since, lumbering was the great business of the province, 
and diverted the attention of the people from their farms. 

There was some immigration to the province during the 
nineteenth century notably of Irish, after the disastrous 
potato famine in Ireland ; but, in the main, the growth of 
population has been from the increase of the original stock. 
Of recent years more attention has been given to the organi 
zation of immigration ; and this, coupled with a more aggres 
sive agricultural policy and the development of the fruit 
growing industry, has led to a considerable influx of settlers 
during the past year or two. 

The first agricultural society in the province was organized 
in St John in 1790. Its scope was provincial. In 1825 an 
agricultural and immigration society was formed at Frederic- 
ton, and in 1826 it made an importation of pure-bred stock 
from Great Britain. 

Following an agitation for some systematic provincial 
agricultural work in 1849, Professor J. F, W. Johnston was 
invited from England to visit and examine the province and 
to report upon it from an agricultural standpoint. His 
experience, in comparison with similar experiences in New 
England, New York and elsewhere, indicated that New 
Brunswick compared favourably with other parts of the 
world. Following Professor Johnston s advice a New Bruns 
wick agricultural society was formed in 1851 and the first 
Provincial Exhibition was held in 1853. Previous to this 
the Mechanics Institute of St John had held an exhibition, 
but it was not provincial in extent. 

In 1855 a provincial board of Agriculture took over the 
work of this society as well as other agricultural work, con 
tinuing in existence until 1875, when it was abolished. In 
876 the leading farmers of the province organized a pro 
vincial farmers association, which has held meetings ever 
since and is now looked upon as the official gathering for 
representatives of the various agricultural societies through 
out the province. 


In 1880 a board of Agriculture was again called into 
existence by the legislature, six of its members being 
appointed by the government and six nominated by agri 
cultural societies. This board was abolished in 1888 and 
its duties were transferred to the secretary for Agriculture 
appointed by the government. The portfolio of commissioner 
of Agriculture was created in 1898. 

Under these various bodies agricultural societies, whose 
function it was to keep improved live stock, foster educa 
tional meetings, and generally promote agriculture in their 
own districts, were organized throughout the province. Of 
recent years the number of these societies has largely 
increased, and in 1911 there were ninety-eight fully organ 
ized, all of which receive very considerable appropriations of 
money from the government. 

In 1891 a campaign for co-operative dairying was inaugu 
rated, and during the next fifteen years a large number of 
creameries and cheese factories were established. Some of 
these are to-day among the most prosperous creameries in 
the Maritime Provinces. A few, however, organized under the 
enthusiasm of the movement, have not been so successful. 

New Brunswick has no agricultural college, but the 
government pays the railway fares of students who attend 
any of the courses at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, 
Truro, or any of the other agricultural colleges in Quebec or 
Ontario. During 1912 over seventy New Brunswick farmers 
and farmers sons availed themselves of the opportunities 
offered at the Truro institution. 


The prevalent type of farming is general farming. There 
are, however, considerable areas, especially in Carleton 
County along the St John River, where potato farming is 
made a specialty and where the fertility of the land is kept 
up by means of commercial fertilizer rather than live stock. 
Fruit farming, too, is becoming more prevalent and promises 
to become a leading industry. 

Many of the general farmers, especially along the diked 



marsh areas, sell large quantities of hay instead of feeding it 
to live stock and thus building up their farms. In general, 
however, live stock occupies a prominent position in the 
farm economy ; and no more hopeful symptom in regard 
to the future development of agriculture in the province 
can be given than the increasing interest which is being 
manifested in improved live stock of all kinds. Dairy cattle 
stand easily first in importance, occupying about the same 
position as in Nova Scotia. Beef cattle are relatively a 
little more numerous than in Nova Scotia, owing possibly to 
the fact that there are not as many large mining towns in 
New Brunswick as in Nova Scotia, demanding butter, milk 
and other dairy produce. Conditions for sheep-raising in 
many parts of the province are almost ideal, and there is 
room for a large development in the raising of horses, swine 
and poultry. 

In Carleton County and adjoining areas the profitable 
ness of the potato industry has led many farmers to confine 
themselves almost entirely to the growing of potatoes, hay 
and a small amount of grain. The quality of New Brunswick 
potatoes is well established and a large market is available 
in the West Indies and in the cities of Quebec and Ontario. 
Under this system live stock occupies a very secondary place, 
but, nevertheless, as long as the potato trade continues good 
and the farmers follow a good rotation of crops in which 
clover occupies a prominent place, this type of farming will 
prove profitable. It is not, however, as safe a type of farm 
ing as live-stock farming. 


All those crops grown in temperate climates which have 
already been discussed in connection with the agriculture of 
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island can be grown in 
New Brunswick. The yields vary with the quality of farm 
ing that is done. The average yields for the past thirteen 
years have been : 



Yield per acre 

Wheat . 
Turnips . 

i8 4 bush. 
29*1 bush. 
22 I bush. 
134-9 bush. 
434 6 bush. 


The average yield on the best farms is nearly double the 
above figures. 


Fruit-growing in New Brunswick has never been exploited 
to the extent it has been in Nova Scotia ; but of recent 
years the people of this province have come to a realization 
that their country is capable of sustaining a large acreage 
of productive orchard trees. The fact was perhaps best 
advertised to the world by a provincial horticultural show 
held in St John in 1910 under the Fruit-Growers Associa 
tion, but financed by the department of Agriculture. \Vhile 
the present movement is very recent indeed, the history 
of fruit-growing in New Brunswick dates back to the year 
1844, when Francis Peabody Sharp, a native of Carleton 
County, New Brunswick, set out an orchard of over one 
hundred trees at Woodstock. Subsequently he set out 
several orchard nurseries in various parts of Carleton County, 
and in 1891 Franklin Sharp, a son, was superintending a 
nursery of 900,000 apple-trees, 60,000 plum-trees, besides 
large bearing orchards. The death of both father and son 
unfortunately led to the enterprise being neglected, and 
the orchards fell into decay. Sharp s example was followed 
by many farmers, but, for the most part, they planted too 
close, set out early and non-standard varieties, and did not 
have any proper organization for the exportation of fruit, 
which led to glutted local markets. 

The following organizations exist for the purpose of 
developing and encouraging agriculture in New Brunswick : 


Department of Agriculture, Farmers and Dairymen s Associa 
tion, Fruit-Growers Association of New Brunswick, Maritime 
Stock- Breeders Association, New Brunswick Creamery and 
Cheese Factories, New Brunswick Dairy School. 



MINING is one of the principal industries of Nova 
Scotia. It occupies, however, only a secondary 
place in the industrial life of New Brunswick 
and exists not at all in Prince Edward Island. The prin 
cipal mineral wealth of the Maritime Provinces lies in the 
deposits of coal, iron and gypsum, although a large number 
of occurrences of other minerals have been discovered within 
their boundaries. Nova Scotia has the only large deposits 
of coal in America that are situated directly on tidewater. 
The exploitation of these coal seams is progressing at a 
rapid rate and furnishes a constantly increasing source of 
revenue to the people of the province. Very early in the 
history of the continent the reports of mineral deposits in 
Nova Scotia appear, and a vast amount of material confronts 
the historian who would faithfully tell the tale of mining 
exploitation in the Maritime Provinces. 


One of the chief desires of the first adventurous voyagers 
from Europe to America was to discover mineral wealth in the 
new land. Although Nova Scotia was visited in 1498 by 
Sebastian Cabot and by many explorers later, no mineral 
discovery is recorded until the beginning of the seventeenth 
century. With the French colonizing expedition under de 
Monts were the famous Samuel Champlain and a mining 
engineer, Master Simon, who in the year 1604 discovered 
iron and silver in St Mary s Bay, native copper at Cape d Or, 



amethysts on the eastern shore of the Bay of Fundy, and 
copper ore at Port Mouton. 1 

The coal seams near Sydney, Cape Breton, which were 
easily visible in the cliffs, were not reported by that intelligent 
and accurate observer, Champlain, who made a survey of 
Cape Breton Island in 1607. These coal deposits, however, 
were probably known about this time, because in 1672 2 
Denys mentions them in a matter-of-fact way. He says ; 
There are mines of coal within the limits of my concession 
and upon the border of the sea ; this is found to be as good 
as that of Scotland, according to the tests I have made of 
it upon the spot as well as in France. He also mentions 
gypsum or plaister on the Antigonish River, on the Bras 
d Or Lakes, at St Ann s Bay and at Mabou. On August 21, 
1677, Denys was given the right to exact a duty of thirty 
sous per ton on plaister and twenty sous per ton on coal. 

This statement of Denys is the first mention of coal on 
the continent of North America. It was not until 1698 that 
the existence of coal on the Illinois River was first made 
known by Father Hennepin. Coal in Indiana was not 
recorded until 1768, and the first mention of the Pittsburg 
seams was about 1770. 

In 1720 or 1721 Paul Mascarene reported that there was 
copper on the shore of the Bay of Fundy, and that there 
were coal deposits and quarries of freestone, as well as plenty 
of white marble which burned to a very good lime, along the 
St John River. 3 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century it was well 
recognized in both England and France that Acadia possessed 
mineral wealth in coal, iron, gypsum and limestone. 

The early explorers to Acadia failed to find among the 
natives any ornaments or utensils of silver or gold such as the 
Spaniards found in Mexico and Peru. The first colonists 
were so fully engaged in carrying on the fisheries and fur 
trade, and in making war upon each other, that they took 

1 Marc Lescarbot, History of New France, translation by Grant and Biggar, 
Champlain Society Publication, vol. ii. pp. 232, 235, 237, 362. 

2 Nicolas Denys, Description and Natural History of Acadia, translation by 
\V. F. Ganong, Champlain Society Publication, pp. 180, 182. 

3 Beamish Murdoch, History of Nova Scotia, 1865, vol. i. p. 15,9. 


no time to explore or exploit the mineral wealth. England 
was developing a considerable export trade in coal and did 
not wish to see any vigorous competition develop in the 
colonies under her control. The title to the principal minerals 
was vested in the crown, and usually the reservation of these 
minerals was specifically mentioned in the land grants. 


Before proceeding further, it seems best to record in a few 
words the simple facts concerning the mining history of 
Prince Edward Island. A few small copper-bearing deposits 
have been discovered and occurrences of some unimportant 
beds of limestone have been reported. In 1909, under the 
direction of the Geological Survey of Canada, several holes 
were bored to a depth of about 2000 feet. This was done 
with a view to testing the opinion that the productive 
coal measures which exist in Nova Scotia underlay the red 
sandstone of Prince Edward Island at such a shallow depth 
that mines might be successfully opened. None of the 
holes bored showed any coal seams. The only kind of 
mining practised on the island is the digging of the calcareous 
earth of the oyster-beds through the ice in the winter for use 
as a land fertilizer. 


Early in the eighteenth century the New England colonists 
and the French crews who came to Cape Breton to fish broke 
coal out of the cliffs and carried it away. After the estab 
lishment of Halifax in 1749 about three thousand tons were 
mined annually for the use of the garrisons there and at 
Louisbourg, and a small coal trade was carried on with New 
England. The mines were fortified and a military detach 
ment stationed at them. 

It is well to remember that up to 1758, except for the 
period 1745 to 1749, Cape Breton belonged to the French. 
It was a part of the colony of Nova Scotia from 1758 to 1784, 
when it was made a separate colony, but was again annexed 
in 1820. 


After the Treaty of Paris in 1763 orders were given that 
no grants of land should be made in Cape Breton until a 
survey should be made, a task that took four years. Several 
prominent English officers and others applied to the king or 
the Lords of Trade for leases or grants in the coal districts, 
offering to pay royalties of from two and a half to five 
shillings per ton on all coal sold, but were all refused, even 
in the face of the recommendation of the governor that some 
leases be granted. Contrary to orders, Governor Campbell 
in 1766 granted the right to mine a certain quantity of coal 
for a limited time and was reprimanded by the secretary of 
state. A good deal of coal was stolen from the outcrops, 
and it was necessary to station troops at the mines there to 
prevent pilfering. During the American Revolution troops 
were engaged to dig coal for the use of the garrison at 

In 1784 Cape Breton was established as a separate colony, 
and until 1792 the lieutenant-governor was allowed a royalty 
of three shillings and sixpence per ton on coal mined, as a 
perquisite of his office. From this date until 1826 the coal 
mines were worked at times by the government itself and at 
times by private operators. The operators were called upon 
to pay heavy royalties of from three shillings to four shillings 
and threepence per ton at a time when the selling price in 
Halifax was fixed by law at from ten shillings and threepence 
to thirteen shillings and twopence per ton. 

Up to 1826 the means of extracting coal had been of the 
crudest kind. A good deal had been quarried from the 
outcrops and the underground workings had not been carried 
below the water-level. The coal was cut from the face of 
the seams with picks, loaded into two-bushel tubs and 
hauled on sleds to the pit bottom over corduroy roadways. 
It was hoisted and loaded into rude carts and taken over 
rough roads to the wharf, to be again loaded into small 
vessels or dumped on stock piles. No attention was paid 
to picking, screening or cleaning the coal. The miners lived 
in vermin-infested shacks ; there was only one pay-day a 
year ; much drunkenness and brawling prevailed ; no school 
existed in the community, and there was no place of worship 









except a small Roman Catholic chapel near by, where a priest 
officiated once or twice a year. The mines were conducted 
in such a desultory manner that much coal was lost by 
the crushing of the inadequate pillars. 1 The coal had a bad 
reputation in New England, where it came into competition 
with the carefully cleaned coal of Great Britain. 

In 1798 coal was first discovered in Pictou County, and 
in 1807 John M c Kay, a collier, obtained a licence to dig coal 
for the inhabitants, and later to export. In 1818 leases of 
twenty-five years duration were granted covering a large 
tract of ground on the east side of the East River. 2 

From the year 1826 to 1858 the mining industry of Nova 
Scotia, with the exception of a few enterprises, was asso 
ciated with the General Mining Association. In 1825 King 
George iv granted to his brother, the Duke of York, for 
sixty years all the reserved mines and minerals in Nova 
Scotia. The duke transferred these rights to one of his 
largest creditors in London, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, a 
firm of jewellers. This was a time of speculation in American 
mines, and this firm, which also had investments in South 
America, formed the General Mining Association to exploit 
the minerals of Nova Scotia, a province reputed to be 
rich in copper. Mr Backwell, an eminent Cornish mining 
engineer, was sent out to examine all the known copper 
deposits in the province. On his return he reported against 
the opening up of the copper prospects, but advised his 
clients to work the rich coal seams. Accordingly in 1826 
they sent out a young coal-mining expert, Richard Brown, 
who reported favourably on the exploitation of the coal 
deposits in Cape Breton and in Pictou County. The 
association worked the mines in the former district during 
that year, finishing an uncompleted lease, and acquired 
the leases in the latter area. Thus in 1827 the association 
came into possession of all the reserved mines and minerals 
in the province. For the Pictou leases for fifty-eight years 

1 Richard Brown, The Coal Fields and Coal Trade in the Island of Cape Breton, 
1871, p. 71. 

3 Dr Patterson, The Early History of Mining in Pictou County, Transac 
tions of the Mining Society of Nova Scotia, 1893-94, v l- " P af t " PP- 57-62. 


the price paid was a fixed rental of 3000 sterling and a 
royalty of one shilling and sevenpence on every chaldron 
exceeding 20,000 per year sold in Nova Scotia. 

The General Mining Association opened and operated 
the coal deposits in Sydney and Pictou according to the best 
English practice of that time. New shafts were sunk ; rail 
ways were built ; shipping piers, warehouses, workshops, 
and dwelling-houses were constructed ; steam engines for 
hoisting and pumping were installed ; skilled mechanics and 
colliers were brought out from England ; and no expense 
was spared to conduct the whole enterprise in the most 
approved fashion. The first stationary steam engine was 
started in December 1827 and the first steam railroad in 
Canada was constructed from the East River to the loading 
ground at Albion Mines, Pictou County, a distance of six 
miles. The road began operations in 1839. The work in 
Sydney was under the direction of Richard Brown, who 
proved himself to be an engineer of the highest order and 
a geologist of such insight and accuracy that his early 
geological work, performed often under the greatest diffi 
culties, has never been seriously controverted. 

The association also explored other coal and ore deposits 
in all parts of the province. An experimental furnace was 
erected at Albion Mines, and in 1829 smelting tests were 
made on the clay-ironstone, limonite and hematite found in 
the vicinity. 1 The principal concern, however, was to furnish 
a high grade of carefully picked lump coal and to develop a 
large trade with the United States. 

The advent of a strong company to develop the mineral 
resources of the province was at first hailed with great 
satisfaction, but, soon after the association had become firmly 
established, the people became alarmed and severely criticized 
it as a monopoly. An early historian in 1829 declared : 

The impolitic reservation to the Crown of the most 
valuable minerals in the grants of land made to the 
people of this Province has diminished the interest of 
the owners of the soil to seek for what they could not 

1 H. S. Poole, Iron Making in Xova Scotia early in the Century, Tra-nsac- 
tions of the Mining Society of Nova Scotia, 1893-94, v l- u - part iv. pp. 144-52. 


enjoy ; and the exclusive right invested in the persons 
in England, claiming under His Royal Highness the 
Duke of York, to all the mines and minerals in Nova 
Scotia, not only renders them indifferent about the 
discovery of minerals, but prevents them from communi 
cating any information they may possess. 1 

Popular resentment against the company increased. It 
was declared in the provincial assembly that the reservation 
of the mines and minerals to the crown and the subsequent 
lease to the Duke of York were improvident and uncon 
stitutional. In 1845 the opinion of eminent counsel in Eng 
land was taken as to the legality of the title of the General 
Mining Association, but the British lawyers confirmed this 
title. In 1849 the crown transferred all its interest in the 
mines of Nova Scotia to the provincial government. The 
house of assembly passed resolutions authorizing the lieu 
tenant-governor and council to negotiate with the General 
Mining Association with a view to getting it to relinquish 
its rights, and in 1853 also enacted legislation requiring it to 
forfeit its right to a mineral deposit if it did not work this 
deposit within a year after some other person had applied 
for the right to exploit it. This whole vexed controversy 
was brought to a focus in 1857 when the provincial assembly 
appointed two eminent members, representing diverse views 
on this question, who were authorized to proceed to London 
to negotiate with the General Mining Association. After 
much discussion a satisfactory agreement was consummated 
and ratified by the assembly in 1858. The association was 
given the right to mine coal in thirty-four square miles in 
Cape Breton, four square miles in Pictou County and four 
square miles each at Springhill and Joggins Mines in Cumber 
land County, while ail the mines and minerals not otherwise 
granted passed to the provincial government. The first 
mining act was forthwith passed (1858). This act embodied 
the principle that the important minerals were for ever vested 
in the people of the province, and that by the payment of 
certain sums licences to explore over definite areas could be 

1 T. C. Haliburton, An Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia, 1829, 
p. 309. 


secured, and that leases could be obtained to work certain 
mines upon the payment of stipulated royalties to the pro 
vincial treasury. 

Under these generous conditions many people took up 
mining areas, chiefly in the coal-fields, some with a view to 
selling their rights to future operators and others with a 
view to working the seams themselves. There was a great 
stimulus at this time for production, because coal was admitted 
to the United States free of duty under the Reciprocity 
Treaty which was then in effect. The next twenty-five years 
was an era of unrestricted individual competition among the 
coal-mines of Nova Scotia. The General Mining Association, 
on account of its strong financial backing and its superior 
facilities for mining, screening and shipping coal, was in a 
better position than its smaller competitors. It cannot be 
recorded that money invested in the coal-mines as a whole 
paid an adequate return. Coal was sold at ruinously low 
prices in the face of the fierce competition, and in many cases 
the mines were worked with an eye to temporary profits 
rather than with the idea of extracting the largest possible 
percentage of the deposit. During the Civil War there was 
a great demand for coal in the United States, but with the 
abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty in 1 866 and the im 
position of a considerable duty on coal, the Nova Scotian 
trade sharply declined. To offset the limitation of the 
American market, the sales in the Maritime Provinces and 
Quebec expanded. 

The General Mining Association gradually decreased 
its holdings in the province. In 1871 it sold its area at 
Joggins Mines to two separate companies and in 1872 dis 
posed of its leases in Springhill, which centre afterwards 
developed into an important producer. It continued to 
operate its mines in Pictou until 1872, when its rights to this 
district were transferred to a new company, known as the 
Halifax Company. This latter coal earned a high reputation 
for blacksmiths purposes and was used extensively in the 
manufacture of iron in New England. In 1886 two other 
mines, the Acadia and the Vale, were combined with those 
of the Halifax Company to form the basis of the Acadia Coal 



. 1100000 



^ 700000 
































*- ^ 




Company, which controls most of the coal in the Pictou basin. 
One of these seams, known as the Ford, attains a thickness of 
from thirty to thirty-five feet of clean coal, thus claiming 
distinction as one of the thickest seams in the world. The 
seams in this basin are more highly inclined, more irregular 
and more gaseous than those in the Sydney coal-field, so that 
the operators in Pictou have had much more trouble from 
fires, crushes, etc., than have the operators in Cape Breton. 

Coal-mines have been opened in other parts of the pro 
vince. In Richmond County a company attempted to de 
velop a mine in 1865 and other serious efforts at operation 
have followed, but up to 1913 there has been only a succession 
of failures in this district. The Port Hood Colliery was 
first opened in 1865 and has been worked intermittently since 
then, but the workings were drowned by an inundation of 
salt water in June 1911. In 1866 an attempt was made to 
open a mine at Mabou, Inverness County, but it was worked 
only in a small way. During recent years the Mabou mine 
was developed extensively by an American company, but 
it was flooded by an inrush of salt water on January 17, 1909. 
In 1866 an attempt was made to organize a coal company to 
open the seams at Broad Cove (now Inverness) in Inverness 
County, but little development was done until William Hussey 
started active operations in 1895. ^ n r ^99 Mackenzie and 
Mann assumed control and began to establish a colliery at 
this place, which has since become an important producer. 
The history of the vicissitudes of many other collieries cannot 
be chronicled in this summary of events. 

Under the stress of keen competition many coal-mines 
that were opened with a flourish closed down with a thud 
after a more or less prolonged struggle. The larger pro 
ducers must have co-operated to some extent, but how far 
this was true is difficult to state. As early as September 
1874 x representatives of most of the coal companies met at 
Stellarton and discussed ways and means of promoting their 
interests by limiting the output, the engaging of only one 
common sales agent in each market, and several other con 
siderations which might promote their common welfare. 

1 Report of Department of Mines of Nova Scotia, 1875, p. 14. 


The legislation affecting coal - mining was continually 
advanced, following the English laws in this respect more 
closely than other models, until it was on a highly efficient 
basis. In 1881 it was required that colliery officials should 
hold certificates of competency from a government examining 
board, and in 1882 the first examinations were held. In 
1889 the government established evening technical schools 
for coal-miners, so that any ambitious man could obtain the 
education necessary to secure a certificate. In 1893 hoisting 
engineers were required to possess certificates, and technical 
classes v/ere provided for them in 1897. 

The advantages of a merger of a number of the producing 
mines were so evident that the Hon. B. F. Pearson in 1892 
induced American capital to form the Dominion Coal Com 
pany, which took over practically all the going mines in the 
Sydney district except those of the General Mining Asso 
ciation. This company secured from the provincial govern 
ment a special lease for a term of ninety-nine years, in return 
for which it agreed to pay twelve and a half cents royalty 
per ton on coal sold instead of the regular tax of ten cents. 
In 1893 the charter of this company was granted by the 
house of assembly. The original lease covered about seventy- 
eight square miles of territory, which has been largely added 
to since, especially in regard to submarine areas. 

The Dominion Coal Company at once began to develop 
its extensive coal property in a most vigorous manner 
and brought the industry under its control to a high state 
of efficiency. Miners wages have been largely increased. 
Large amounts of coal were mined and placed in stock piles 
during the winter months, so that the men engaged in and 
about the mines should have practically continuous employ 
ment all the year round. The housing conditions of the 
employees have been raised to a much higher standard. The 
yearly output of coal has been increased enormously. The 
equipment for mining, hoisting, screening, transporting, loading 
and shipping coal now represents the most modern practice. 

A few years after the Dominion Coal Company was 
formed some of its leading shareholders conceived the idea 
of establishing large steel works in the vicinity of Sydney. 











& 3000000 
1$ 2750000 
^ 2500000 
5 2250OOO 






































r ioi 












1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 


This conception was based on two main ideas, viz. to pro 
vide a plant for the manufacture of steel products for which 
there was a rapidly growing demand in the new railways and 
industries in Canada, and also to provide in the neighbour 
hood of the mines a consumer of large quantities of fine or 
slack coal. Accordingly, in March 1899, the Dominion Iron 
and Steel Company was formed and incorporated under the 
laws of Nova Scotia. A very large plant was constructed 
on tidewater at Sydney Harbour on an ideal site. The iron 
ore was procured from the large deposits on Bell Island, 
Newfoundland, and the limestone and dolomite came from 
Marble Mountain and George River in close proximity to 
the steel plant. This company entered into a long term 
contract (October 20, 1903) with the Dominion Coal Com 
pany whereby the latter was to supply it with coal, a portion 
of which was to be freshly mined from the Phalen seam, 
suitable for metallurgical purposes and reasonably free from 
stone and shale. The price of coal was to be adjusted 
every five years. After a few years, however, there ensued 
a legal battle in which the steel company brought suit for 
large damages against the coal company for alleged breach 
of contract. The case was taken to the Privy Council and 
the verdict awarded to the plaintiff. The interests of the 
two companies were so nearly identical and the damages so 
heavy that the steel company acquired control of the coal 
company and merged the two into the Dominion Steel 
Corporation. In 1911 this company leased the properties 
of the Cumberland Coal and Railway Company in Springhill, 
so that at the present time it possesses under lease by far 
the greater portion of the coal resources of Nova Scotia. 

The Dominion Steel Corporation is one of the largest 
industrial concerns in Canada. It has over twenty coal 
mines opened and is increasing its production very rapidly. 
It has extensive piers and facilities for bunkering at Sydney, 
Louisbourg, Halifax, Parrsboro, St John, Quebec and Mon 
treal. Its colliery, Dominion No. 2, is one of the largest 
and most completely equipped in the world. In 1912 it had 
over ten thousand men on its pay-roll in and about the mines 
in Cape Breton alone. It owns and operates the Black 



Diamond Steamship Company. It possesses part of the 
immense iron deposits at Bell Island, Newfoundland, and 
limestone deposits at Port-au-port, Newfoundland, and 
Marble Mountain on the Bras d Or Lakes, besides its own 
dolomite quarries in the vicinity of Sydney. The steel plant 
is one of the largest individual steel works in the world, and 
employs over four thousand men. It has six modern blast 
furnaces, three 1 5-ton Bessemer converters, ten Campbell 
5O-ton tilting open-hearth furnaces, rail mill, wire-rod mill, 
wire and nail mill, coal washer, and full complement of 
modern by-product coke ovens. It has developed an 
individual duplex Bessemer open-hearth process which is a 
high metallurgical achievement. This corporation and the 
Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company dominate the great 
industrial life that has so rapidly developed in Cape Breton 
w r ithin the last few years. 

The General Mining Association continued to operate 
its mines at Sydney Mines until the year 1900, when it sold 
its entire rights in the province to the Nova Scotia Steel 
and Coal Company, and thus, after a long and honourable 
career, passed out of the annals of the industrial history of 
Nova Scotia. 

In 1910 Belgian capital to the extent of $2,000,000 was 
introduced into the Acadia Coal Company in Pictou, which 
is expanding its operations accordingly. 

The day of the small coal-mine, because of the larger 
capitalization necessary for economical operation, has passed 
in the mining history of Nova Scotia. As elsewhere in 
modern business, coal-mining is now securely in the control 
of a few large corporations, and the advantage of this con 
dition from an operating standpoint is seldom questioned. 

Nova Scotia has been comparatively free from disas 
trous mine explosions. Three of these stand out in the 
industrial history of the province. On May 13, 1873, an 
explosion occurred in the Drummond Colliery of the Inter 
colonial Coal Mining Company at Westville, in which sixty 
lives were lost. An explosion of fire-damp occurred in the 
Ford Pit of the Halifax Company on November 12, 1880, 
through which forty-four persons were killed. On February 


21, 1891, a severe explosion took place in the Springhill 
Mines which resulted in the death of one hundred and 
twenty-five persons. The total fatalities in the coal-mines 
in comparison with the number of people employed is much 
lower than in the coal-mines of Western Canada and compares 
favourably with British statistics. 

The serious clashes of the employers and operatives in the 
Nova Scotian coal-mines have been comparatively few. The 
Cumberland Coal and Railway Company at Springhill had a 
very stormy history in this regard for nearly twenty years, but 
in the rest of the province the relations of labour and capital 
have been generally peaceful. For many years the mine 
workers have had their own organization, the Provincial 
Workmen s Association, which has been successful in gaining 
its ends with but few real strikes. In 1908 the United Mine 
Workers of the United States entered the province and tried 
to win over the local coal-miners as members of their organiza 
tion. A bitter strike on a large scale was conducted by 
this union against the Dominion Coal Company for a new 
wages schedule. The members of the Provincial Workmen s 
Association stood by the coal company and were successful. 1 
Riot and disorder of a magnitude unknown in this peaceful 
province were rampant during the strike, and the Canadian 
troops had to be called in to preserve order. 


The natural resources and trade in coal of New Brunswick 
are small in comparison with Nova Scotia. The first dis 
coveries of bituminous coal were made in the vicinity of 
Grand Lake, Queens County, and small quantities were 
obtained from that region in I782. 2 The full importance of 
this and the other coal-fields of the province was not recog 
nized until Dr A. Gesner, in 1839-41, made the first geological 
survey of the province. He overestimated 3 the area in 
which productive coal seams might be found, but this was 

1 See The Labour Movement in Canada in section v. 

2 W. O. Raymond, Proceedings of the Historical Society of St John, 1897. 

3 A. Gesner, New Brunswick, 1847, p. 347 et seq. 



very pardonable in the light of the natural difficulties under 
which his investigation was made. The most important 
coal deposits are in the vicinity of the north-eastern end of 
Grand Lake, a navigable branch of the St John River, 
twenty-five miles long and four miles wide. The country is 
flat and the thickness of productive carboniferous strata is 
only about two hundred feet. The principal seam of coal 
is about two feet thick and comparatively near the surface. 
The glacial drift is from two to forty feet thick, but a good 
deal of coal has been quarried after stripping the surface. 

For many years the coal was removed in a most desultory 
manner. Each farmer on whose land coal was exposed 
devoted a portion of his leisure time in the winter to extract 
ing a few tons for himself and sometimes hauling a few loads 
over the snow and ice to Fredericton. The market in St 
John was supplied for the most part by Nova Scotian coal. A 
company was formed in 1837 to test the Grand Lake coal 
field by boring, and proved that the two-feet seam was the only 
one of economic importance. This fact was corroborated by 
subsequent borings in 1866 and 1870, and further by extensive 
bore-holes undertaken in 1873 by the Geological Survey of 
Canada and the New Brunswick government. 

The output of the small mines about Grand Lake was 
about three thousand chaldrons, and even down to 1900 
averaged only about four thousand chaldrons a year. Most 
of the coal was consumed in Fredericton and St John. In 
1891 and 1893 experiments showed that a satisfactory quality 
of coke could be manufactured from this coal. With the 
advent of a railway from the coal-field to Norton on the Inter 
colonial Railway about ten years ago, the industry took on a 
new lease of life. Several of the mines were equipped with 
modern power plants and apparatus for handling and screening 
the coal, and the output was largely increased. In 191 1 about 
forty-five thousand tons were shipped from this district. 

In 1903 the Imperial Coal Company was formed to work 
the coal deposits at Beersville in Kent County. A railroad 
was built to Adamsville on the Intercolonial Railway, and in 
1911 about six thousand tons of coal were produced from a 
twenty-inch seam. 


At the present time (1913) the future development of 
the Grand Lake coal-fields looks very promising. The 
Fredericton and Grand Lake Coal Company is building a 
railway from Gibson on the Intercolonial Railway to Minto. 
When completed the whole line from Gibson to Norton is to 
be leased to the Canadian Pacific Railway for 999 years, 
and more extensive exploitation of the coal seam is to be 

A large deposit of a unique mineral, albertite, was dis 
covered in 1850 1 by the bursting of a mill dam and the 
simultaneous erosion of the banks of Frederick Brook at 
Hillsborough, Albert County. Albertite closely resembles 
asphaltum, having a specific gravity of 1*08 to rn, a hard 
ness of nearly 3 on Moh s scale, and an amorphous structure. 
The main vein was sixteen feet thick at the outcrop and a 
company was formed immediately to work it. The albertite 
was used principally in the United States to enrich illuminat 
ing gas and in the manufacture of petroleum products. It 
yielded about one hundred gallons of oil per ton or 14,500 
cubic feet of gas and was worth about twenty dollars a ton. 
The mining rights caused a protracted and bitter struggle 
in the courts as to whether albertite was a coal and thus 
reserved to the crown, or a carbonaceous material which 
belonged to the owner of the soil. 2 The deposit was mined 
to its limit at a depth of about thirteen hundred feet, and over 
230,000 tons were extracted in the thirty years during which 
it was worked. Other occurrences of albertite were discovered, 
but none of them of sufficient magnitude to warrant mining 


Annapolis County. The existence of large beds of iron 
ore near Nictaux and Torbrook was known early in the 
nineteenth century. In 1825 some ore from these deposits 
was extracted and used in the furnace at Clementsport. A 

1 W. C. Milner, History of Albertite, Journal of the Mining Society of Nova 
Scotia, 1912-13, vol. xvii. p. 62 et seq. 

2 Geological Survey of Canada, Report of Progress, 1876-77, pp. 351-401. 


small Catalan forge was erected at Nictaux Falls during the 
first decade, and a few tons of bar iron were made. About 
1850 the Acadian Iron Mining Association built a charcoal 
furnace at Nictaux Falls. Limestone for a flux was brought 
from St John and the works were operated spasmodically 
until 1860. In 1870 the firm of Page and Stearns acquired 
mining leases covering a good deal of the territory in which 
beds of iron ore were known to exist, and began to build a 
railway across the province to the Atlantic shore. Their 
scheme failed, however, and iron-mining in this section 
lapsed again into desuetude. In 1890 Major R. G. E. Leckie 
acquired royalty options upon certain iron ore beds in the 
eastern part of the district, and commenced active mining 
operations, the ore being shipped to the furnaces at London 
derry and Ferrona. In 1896 the mines became idle, because 
the furnace at the former place was shut down. In 1903 
the Leckie Mine was reopened after the reorganization of the 
Steel Company of Canada into the Londonderry Iron and 
Mining Company and worked until the summer of 1906, 
when this part of the deposit was exhausted. At the same 
time other parts of the iron ore beds were prospected and 
developed. The options of the Londonderry Company 
expired about the end of 1906 and the Annapolis Iron Com 
pany was formed by capitalists interested in the former com 
pany to mine the iron ore in the Annapolis County deposits. 
In 1909 the Canada Iron Corporation purchased extensive 
mining rights, built a large pier and later a modern concen 
trating mill, and are shipping large quantities of this ore to 
foreign markets. 

One of the early attempts to mine and smelt iron ore was 
made at Clementsport on the eastern bank of the Moose 
River. At this place the Annapolis Iron Company erected 
a charcoal blast furnace in 1825 for smelting the local ore. 
Operations were continued for only a few years and then 
shut down, to be resumed again in 1861 for a year or two. 
In 1872 and 1873 the furnace was run for ten and six weeks 
respectively, but since that time no ore has been smelted at 
this place. 

Colchester County. The Acadia Charcoal Iron Works 


commenced mining on the deposits of hematite, ankerite, 
etc., near Londonderry in 1849. The existence of iron 
deposits here seems to have been known ever since the date 
of the grants of land from the crown, by which the iron 
included in these grants was given to the owner of the soil. 
Six Catalan forges, a puddling furnace, a steam helve-hammer, 
a blower, and a set of crushing rolls constituted the first 
equipment. In 1852 a charcoal blast furnace was erected 
and continued in blast intermittently until 1875. In 1870 
a full equipment for the manufacture of steel was installed 
and the Catalan forges abandoned. In 1874 or 1875 Dr 
Siemens made the first commercial experiments here for 
the direct process of making iron in rotating furnaces. In 
1877 the manufacture of steel was abandoned and additional 
mills erected for the rolling of iron. The first coke ovens 
were built in 1873 at the Albion Mines, Pictou County, and 
the coke successfully used in the furnace at Londonderry. 
In 1896 the property was purchased from the Steel Company 
of Canada and the Londonderry Iron and Mining Company 
assumed control. The blast furnace was remodelled and 
kept in blast for several years. In 1909 the Canada Iron 
Corporation acquired the property, since which time there 
has been practically no mining done in this district. A small 
open-hearth furnace was erected for the purpose of manu 
facturing steel castings, but the blast furnace has not been 
put in operation. 

Pictou County. Various deposits of iron ore were dis 
covered in proximity to the coal seams at Albion Mines 
and on the East River soon after the General Mining Associa 
tion entered the province (1825). In 1828 it built an experi 
mental furnace and made a few runs, but did nothing further 
in this direction. 

In 1872 the Hope Iron Works started at New Glasgow 
with a capital of four thousand dollars in the manufacture of 
marine and railway forgings. In 1878 the name was changed 
to the Nova Scotia Forge Company and the plant was 
moved to the site now known as Trenton. In 1882 the same 
capitalists who were supporting the forge company estab 
lished the Nova Scotia Steel Company to manufacture steel 


from imported pig-iron and scrap by the open-hearth process. 
In 1883 the Nova Scotia Steel Company produced the first 
steel ingots manufactured in Canada. In 1889 the interests 
of these two companies were merged in the Nova Scotia Steel 
and Forge Company. In 1890 some of the leading share 
holders of the last-named corporation organized the New 
Glasgow Iron, Coal and Railway Company, which purchased 
extensive iron ore deposits on the East River and built a rail 
way from Ferrona Junction on the Intercolonial Railway to 
Sunny Brae. It also erected a coke blast furnace at Ferrona, 
with a capacity of one hundred tons a day, in accordance 
with the best metallurgical practice at that time, and also 
built the first commercial coke-washing plant and retort coke 
ovens on this continent. The furnace was blown in during 
1 892 and continued in blast for a number of years. 1 The plant 
used ore from Torbrook, Annapolis County, and from the 
Brookfield Mines, Colchester County, as well as their own local 
ores. In 1894 this company purchased the enormous iron de 
posits on Bell Island, Newfoundland, and thenceforth used this 
as its main ore supply. In 1895 the Nova Scotia Steel and 
Forge Company and the New Glasgow Iron, Coal and Railway 
Company were amalgamated, under the name of the Nova 
Scotia Steel Company. In order to make itself as self-con 
tained as possible this new company organized the Nova Scotia 
Steel and Coal Company and in 1900 purchased all the mines 
and mining rights of the General Mining Association at Sydney 
Mines. It then proceeded to erect a new blast furnace and 
four open-hearth furnaces, washing plant, retort coke ovens, 
etc., at the base of its coal supply at Sydney Mines, and to 
build extensive piers at North Sydney for coal and iron ore. 
As soon as these were in operation the plant at Ferrona 
and the mines on the East River were abandoned. The 
company has expanded rapidly in all its branches of mining 
coal, mining iron ore and making steel. It has become 
second only to the Dominion Steel Corporation as a steel 
producer in Canada and a coal producer in Nova Scotia. 

1 Walter Stein, The New Works of the New Glasgow Iron, Coal and Railway 
Company at Ferrona, N.S., Transactions of the Mining Society of Nova Scotia, 
1893-94, vol. ii. pp. 75-82- 


It exports vast quantities of iron ore from Bell Island to 
Europe and to the United States. 

The Pictou Charcoal Iron Company began in Bridgeville 
in 1891 to mine and smelt charcoal pig-iron from local ores. 
The furnace was started in the autumn of 1892 and con 
tinued in active operation for a number of years. 1 The 
demand for charcoal iron, however, soon diminished in 
Canada, and the company was forced to shut down the 
furnace, but it continued for some time to sell ore to the 
coke blast furnace at Ferrona. In 1899 the furnace was run 
for a short time by the Mineral Products Company of New 
Brunswick on manganese ore from Dawson Settlement, New 
Brunswick, in the manufacture of ferromanganese. There 
has been no smelting at Bridgeville since that date. 

There are a number of other iron-bearing deposits in the 
province and a great deal of prospecting and development 
work has been done upon them, but with the vast quantity 
of easily accessible iron ore at Wabana, Bell Island, New 
foundland, it does not seem probable that the native ores 
will play any considerable part in the iron and steel industry 
of Nova Scotia for a long time to come. 


The manufacture of iron and steel has never been an 
important industry in New Brunswick, although the exist 
ence of extensive deposits of iron ore in the province has long 
been known. One of the most important occurrences of 
iron ore was reported near Woodstock, Carleton County, as 
early as i82O. 2 These deposits were brought to wide public 
notice in 1836 by Dr C. T. Jackson in a geological survey of 
portions of the State of Maine. In 1848 a charcoal iron 
blast furnace was erected by the Woodstock Charcoal Iron 
Company upon the St John River a short distance above 
Upper Woodstock. The ore was quarried, and in smelting 

1 E. Sjostedt, Notes on the Ores and Blast Furnace Plant of the Pictou 
Charcoal Iron Co. Ltd., Bridgeville, N.S./ Transactions of the Mining Society oj 
Nova Scotia, 1892-93, vol. i. part iv. pp. 8-14. 

z A. Gesner, New Brunswick, 1847. 


it about three tons of ore were required for each ton of pig- 
iron produced. 1 The furnace had a capacity of about seven 
tons a day. The manufactured pig-iron cost from twenty 
to twenty- two dollars per ton. 2 Another charcoal furnace 
with a capacity of five and a half tons a day was erected in 
1868. The pig-iron is reported to have contained a high 
percentage of phosphorus, although some of it was success 
fully used in the manufacture of armour plates in England. 
The works were operated only spasmodically for a few years. 
During the latter period of the operations at Woodstock, 
bog iron ores from Sunbury were mixed with the Woodstock 
ores to improve the grade of pig-iron. 

The largest iron deposits in the province are situated on 
the Nipisiguit River about twenty-two miles south-west of 
Bathurst in Gloucester County. The ore was discovered in 
1898 by a trapper named William Hussey. In 1904 the 
Dominion Iron and Steel Company did some prospecting 
in this locality and then abandoned the work. In 1905 the 
Mines Branch of the Canadian Geological Survey sent an 
experienced man to make a magnetic survey with a view to 
thoroughly testing the property. In the vicinity of the 
original discovery he located two large bodies of ore that 
were further tested by the government of New Brunswick 
by a series of diamond drill holes. The property was pur 
chased by the Drummond Mines Company in 1907 and a 
small amount of development work was carried out in that 
year and in 1908. In 1909 the Canada Iron Corporation 
assumed control of the property, and the exploitation of the 
deposits commenced on an extensive scale. A branch rail 
way was built from the mines to the Intercolonial Railway 
at Nipisiguit Junction. In 1911 a large concentrating mill 
was erected and began operations in the following year. 
About 150,000 tons of high-grade ore have been mined and 
shipped, most of it going to the United States. About 
$500,000 have been spent on the property up to the present 
time and about 40,000,000 tons are said to be available in a 

1 L. W. Bailey, Mineral Resources of New Brunswick, Annual Report oj 
Geological Survey of Canada, 1897, vol. x. p. 157. 

z Geological Survey of Canada, Report of Progress, 1873-74, p. 252. 





f 00000 







depth of five hundred feet in the three masses of ore developed. 
Other occurrences of iron ore that have attracted attention 
from time to time have been reported from various parts of 
the province, but none of them have yet led to active mining 


New Brunswick. Gold-mining in New Brunswick holds 
no greater place in the industrial life of the province than do 
snakes in the natural history of Ireland. Alluvial gold was 
reported by Professor H. Y. Hind in a geological survey made 
in 1865, as having been washed from the sand of several 
streams in the province, but no economic deposits of gold ore 
have ever been found. 

Nova Scotia. The earliest important discovery of gold 
was made in the summer of 1860 by one John Pulsifer at a 
spot about twelve miles north of the head of Tangier Harbour 
on the north-east branch of the Tangier River. 1 

This discovery caused great excitement throughout the 
province and stimulated many men in all walks of life to pro 
spect for the precious metal. Over six hundred prospectors 
immediately flocked to the spot. There was no great rush 
of people from other parts of the world as had been the case 
in California and Australia, because there were no reports 
of rich extensive alluvial deposits in Nova Scotia. All the 
placer deposits, with one or two exceptions, had been swept 
away into the sea by glacial action. During the height of 
prospecting excitement, not more than one-fifth of the men 
employed came from outside the province. The next dis 
covery was reported at Wine Harbour in July 1860, and over 
two hundred men were prospecting here before the end of 
September. During the next year other discoveries of gold 
ore were made at Sherbrooke, Isaac s Harbour, Country 
Harbour, Lunenburg, Waverley, Renfrew, Oldham, Lawrence- 
town and several other places. It was not long before it 
became well known that practically one-half of the eastern 
portion of the mainland of Nova Scotia, from Canso to 

1 Report of the Chief Gold Commissioner of the Province of Nova Scotia, 1862, p. 5. 


Yarmouth, was occupied by the gold-bearing slates and 
sandstones. This area includes about 8500 square miles, 
of which approximately 3500 square miles are occupied by 
granite. The gold occurs in quartz veins in a notable state 
of purity, being usually about 950 fine. The veins are found 
in a series of anticlinal domes and are usually comparatively 
narrow, the average lead being four to six inches thick. The 
veins are mostly of the interbedded type and are exceed 
ingly numerous. Not all of the veins or all portions of any 
one vein contain enough gold to pay for exploitation. The 
pay-chutes in the quartz lodes are usually of comparatively 
small dimensions, although some notable exceptions have 
been proved. 

The popular excitement concerning the gold deposits did 
not last long, because none of the people engaged in this 
occupation made vast fortunes. Two years after the first 
discovery the general attitude toward gold-mining became 
reasonable. It was recognized that perseverance, intelli 
gence and economy had to be practised in the search for 
and the extraction of the metal, and that very 7 often the 
reward was amply worth the effort. It is a pleasure to record 
that law and order prevailed in the early mining camps to 
quite the same extent as in the rural villages of the province. 
There have been special periods of accelerated interest in 
speculation and investment in the gold-bearing deposits, at 
times when some new rich find was reported, or a number 
of properties were amalgamated for the purpose of extensive 
mining operations, but the gold-mines have preserved an 
even tenor up to recent years which has not characterized 
the gold-mining areas of many other countries. Many of the 
hardy people of the province became intelligent miners, but a 
large number of these have emigrated to the western portions 
of the United States and Canada during the recent decline in 
gold-mining in Nova Scotia. These men have always been 
held in high regard for their general ability in the mining 
camps to which they have gone. 

About sixty gold districts have been proclaimed in Nova 
Scotia and a great deal of work has been carried on to shallow 
and moderate depths. Two mines have continued working 


to vertical depths of over one thousand feet. Many of these 
gold-mining centres, with their numerous prospecting pits 
surrounded by small piles of rock, remind one of a colony 
of gophers. Expensive plants and stamp-mills have been 
erected for mining and treating the gold-bearing rock on a 
large scale, but the exploitation of large low-grade deposits 
has not yet proved a commercial success. There is still 
ample opportunity and reasonable chance for generous re 
ward for the intelligent and economical operator who follows 
the pay-chutes of many of the gold-bearing veins in the 
province, with a modest equipment and a ten or twenty 
stamp mill. 

The mining areas as first laid out were fifty feet along the 
vein and twenty feet wide with vertical boundaries. It was 
supposed that this small unit would be of advantage to the 
individual prospector or miner, but this size was soon changed 
to an area of 250 by 150 feet. A man may secure for a 
reasonable sum a licence to search or prospect over a much 
larger area for a certain time, and when he locates his working 
area with a view to mining the gold, he may select a certain 
number of areas of the size mentioned. For these areas he 
pays a rent of fifty cents a year each in addition to the two 
per cent royalty on the gold extracted. 

About ten years after the discovery of gold there was a 
change in the working methods. There arose a tendency 
on the part of the companies controlling the mining rights 
on certain areas to contract with a group of practical miners 
who should carry on the actual mining work. This is known 
as the tribute system. For the right to extract gold ore the 
miners pay to the company a certain portion of the gold won. 
In many cases this system has yielded profits where the com 
pany itself has failed. The miners, however, are apt to do 
their work with a view to gaining temporary profits, which 
method usually causes the mine to be left in very bad shape 
for future operations. The gold ore which has been crushed 
in the mills during the whole period since the first discovery 
has been comparatively rich, the average of all quartz crushed 
being nearly a half -ounce per ton. 



There are in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 
enormous deposits of high-grade gypsum, which have been 
the basis of an important industry for over half a century. 
Most of the gypsum has been exported from the provinces in 
the crude form and the principal market has been the United 
States. The industry has suffered many vicissitudes on 
account of varying tariffs and the keenest kind of competi 
tion, but it is now in a prosperous condition and seems 
destined to progressive expansion in the future. 

New Brunswick. The largest, purest and most extensive 
deposits of gypsum occur near Hillsborough in Albert County. 
There are no accurate records of the first discovery and early 
exploitation of these beds, but it is known that for a few 
years prior to the year 1854 tne Fowler Bros, of Lubec, 
Maine, quarried from two to three thousand tons annually, 
and during this same period small amounts were removed 
by local farmers for land fertilizer. In 1854 the Albert 
Manufacturing Company was organized by Calvin Tomp- 
kins, who coincidently built a mill in Newark, N.J., for the 
manufacture of plaster of Paris. This company opened 
quarries, and also built railways and shipping piers for the 
extensive development of this property. A large amount of 
crude gypsum was exported to the United States. In 1861 
a mill for grinding and calcining the plaster was erected on 
the Petitcodiac River. For some years the company could 
not market its products in Canada because of the prohibitive 
cost of transportation, but with the opening up of the Inter 
colonial Railway a foothold was gained in the business of the 
central provinces. This market largely increased with the 
establishment of a Canadian protective tariff and has been 
continually expanding ever since. On account of the high 
reputation of the products of this company it has been able 
to secure a certain amount of trade with the United States 
even in the face of an adverse tariff. 

Other deposits in the province have been worked spas 
modically. The more impure beds on the Tobique River 


t^ 500 000 
^ 450000 











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in Victoria County have been exploited for the purpose of 
making land fertilizer. A branch line of the Canadian 
Pacific Railway, twenty-eight miles long, was built into this 
district, and in 1893 the Tobique Valley Gypsum Mining 
and Manufacturing Company erected a plant for making 
land plaster, but the work here since then has been neither 
energetic nor continuous. 

A number of excellent deposits have been opened up more 
recently in Albert County and worked to a limited extent. 

Nova Scotia. The mention of gypsum by Denys in 1672 
has been recorded previously in this article. There is no 
authentic history of the operations previous to 1779, and from 
this date to 1833 there are no records available to show the 
amount extracted. In the early days the farmers quarried 
the rock and hauled it to the point of shipment, usually on 
sleds in the winter. Here they would sell it to local traders 
or charter a small vessel and ship it to the United States. 
The principal market in the middle of the nineteenth century 
for Nova Scotian gypsum was at Lubec, Maine. 

From 1860 onward the operations were conducted on a 
much better business basis. Some attempts were made to 
calcine the rock to plaster of Paris, but these were com 
mercially unsuccessful, because a prohibitive duty was placed 
on the manufactured article in the United States as soon 
as the Nova Scotian industry attained important propor 
tions. At the present time there is a small mill at Windsor 
and another large one at Cheticamp which are turning out 
the finished plaster of Paris for the Canadian markets. 

Between 1861 and 1867 there were twenty-five ports in 
the province which were shipping gypsum. In 1908 the 
rock was being exported from only six points in three coun 
ties. The industry is practically controlled by the Ameri 
can capital that owns the mills in the United States. The 
provincial shipping interests do practically none of the 
carrying trade. Although the production is to-day more 
than double that of twenty years ago, nearly ninety per 
cent of it is controlled by one firm. Thus gypsum is much 
more completely under monopolistic control than the coal 
production, and the monopoly is a foreign one. The industry 


has been conducted with great economy, but has only lately 
seen the introduction of modern labour-saving devices. The 
pod auger has been replaced by the hand-machine auger, 
and in 1909 the steam shovel was employed at one large 
quarry for the stripping of the surface. The men employed 
at present are descended from fathers and grandfathers who 
worked in the quarries and have developed a highly specialized 
skill in this work. The principal quarries are situated near 
Windsor in Hants County, at Cheticamp, Inverness County, 
at Nappan, Cumberland County, and in St Ann s Bay, 
Victoria County. The deposits occur in the Lower Carboni 
ferous measures. 


It is impossible to more than mention the major efforts 
that have been made to prospect and work the various other 
mineral deposits that have been discovered in Nova Scotia 
and New Brunswick. 

Antimony. About 1863 a deposit of stibnite was dis 
covered in Prince William, York County, New Brunswick. 
The Lake George Mining and Smelting Company exploited 
the vein to a considerable extent, erected an extensive con 
centrating plant and smelter, and evolved an individual 
metallurgical practice. 1 In 1890 this company discontinued 
operations, which were resumed for a short time in 1907 by 
the Canadian Antimony Company. 

In 1880 a deposit of antimony ore was discovered at 
West Gore, Hants County, Nova Scotia, by John M c Dougall, 
John T. Wallace and Joshua Brison and was worked inter 
mittently until 1900, when it was acquired by the Dominion 
Antimony Company. The American Metal Company of 
New York became interested in the mine and erected a 
modern concentrating mill to treat the lower grades of ore. 
The stibnite was auriferous and the company held leases 
from the government to work the mine for gold, believing 
that the antimony belonged to the owners of the soil. In 

1 Carl Schnabel, Handbook of Metallurgy, translated by H. Louis, and edition, 
1907, pp. 569, 575. 


1908 the Nova Scotia Development Company applied for 
and received the right to work the same areas for antimony, 
and involved the mine in litigation which resulted in active 
operations being discontinued. 

Copper. In both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia large 
sums of money have been spent in quest of copper ore. Up 
to the present time no mine that has become a producer of 
copper ore for any great length of time has been developed. 

In New Brunswick there was a sudden wave of energy in 
prospecting for copper in the early sixties. On Passama- 
quoddy Bay in the southern part of the province considerable 
development was carried out at this time on Adams Island, 
Simpson Island, on the mainland at La Tete Passage, and 
on the Vernon Mine at Goose Creek, St John County. In 
1859 or 1860 two unsuccessful attempts were made to locate 
copper-mines near Bathurst, one being situated at the falls 
of the Tetagouche River and the other near the mouth of 
the Nipisiguit River. In 1882-83 heavy expenditures were 
incurred by one American company that ventured to develop 
a mine in the sandstones near Dorchester, and about 1900 
by another company that endeavoured to extract the copper 
by leaching and electrolysis. 

In Nova Scotia copper was first discovered at Cape d Or 
in 1604. It was the reputation of possessing extensive 
copper deposits that in 1825 induced the General Mining 
Association to enter the province as a promising field for 
investment. Many attempts have been made to exploit the 
native copper at Cape d Or, but all were unsuccessful, even 
the venture in 1900 of the Colonial Copper Company, which 
conducted its operations on a large scale. In 1863 and 
1864 a company prospected in the vicinity of Cheticamp, and 
in 1903 another company made an unsuccessful attempt 
to develop a mine in the schists of this region. In 1875 a 
large vein of cupriferous pyrite was discovered near Poison s 
Lake, Antigonish County, but subsequent explorations have 
failed to establish a working mine. At Coxheath, Cape 
Breton County, since 1881 more extensive development has 
been prosecuted than on any other copper deposit in the 
province, but since 1902 it has been practically idle. In 



1898 the Crown Copper Company started to develop pro 
mising prospects in Pictou and Cumberland Counties. It 
erected a smelter at Pictou and spent a great deal of money, 
but ended its operations abruptly in a few years. 

Lead and Silver. In New Brunswick the deposits of 
lead and silver which have been discovered have been of such 
small magnitude that they do not deserve mention here. 

In Nova Scotia a deposit of argentiferous galena was 
found in 1897 on the L Abime Brook, Inverness County, 
while the Cheticamp Gold Mining Company was pro 
specting the Cheticamp River for gold. Later a concen 
trating mill was erected and considerable mining develop 
ment accomplished, but the venture was a failure. Other 
promising deposits of galena have been developed at Smith- 
field, Colchester County, and at Musquodoboit Harbour, 
Halifax County. 

Manganese. Manganese mining was at one time an 
industry of some consequence in New Brunswick. The most 
important mine was opened in 1864 at Markhamville, Kings 
County, by G. F. Matthew. The deposits were worked up 
to 1894 an d produced 25,000 tons of high-grade ore. Work 
began at the Jordan Mountain Mine near Sussex in 1882, but 
only a small quantity of ore was produced. The Quaco Head 
Mine was worked intermittently up to 1889 and produced 
several hundred tons of ore. The Hopewell Manganese 
Mines, situated at Shepody Mountain, Albert County, were 
opened in 1860 and produced about five hundred tons of 
high-grade ore. About 1895 the Mineral Products Company 
developed large deposits of bog manganese ore at Dawson 
Settlement, Albert County. The company erected an exten 
sive plant for washing and briquetting the ore and shipped 
some to Bridgeville, Nova Scotia, where ferromanganese was 
smelted in the charcoal blast furnace. The company failed 
shortly after 1900. 

In Nova Scotia the most important deposits of this ore 
were discovered at Tenny Cape in 1861 by Nicholas Mosher, 
Junior. Shipments of very high grade ore were continued 
intermittently up to a few years ago. Manganese ore has 
also been worked at Walton, Cheverie and Pembroke in the 


vicinity of Tenny Cape, and also at Onslow, Colchester 
County. A few years ago an important vein of pyrolusite 
was discovered by Ernest Turner at New Ross, Lunenburg 
County. This is evidently a fissure vein in granite and is 
quite different from the other deposits, which were distinct 
lenses in limestone. It has been vigorously developed by the 
Nova Scotia Manganese Company and is expected to become 
an important producer. 

Barytes. The principal deposits of this mineral in Nova 
Scotia occur at Five Islands, Colchester County, and at 
Cape Rouge and Lake Ainslie, Inverness County. The last- 
mentioned deposit is at present being vigorously developed 
and a large amount of barytes is being mined, bleached, 
ground and shipped to Canadian and foreign markets. 

Tungsten. An important deposit of scheelite was dis 
covered in 1908 near Moose River, Halifax County, Nova 
Scotia, by Thomas and Silver Curry and John Reynolds. 
The property has been extensively prospected : a concen 
trating mill was erected in 1911 and several shipments of 
high-grade concentrates have already been made. In 1911 
tungsten was also found in the northern part of York County, 
New Brunswick, near the Miramichi River. 

Petroleum and Gas. No producing wells have yet been 
located in Nova Scotia, although bore-holes were put down 
to a depth of about two thousand feet near Cheverie, Hants 
County, several years ago, and boring operations have been 
extensively carried on and are still in progress near Lake 
Ainslie, Inverness County. In several portions of the pro 
vince there are extensive deposits of oil-shale, but the ex 
ploitation of these has not yet passed the initial stages. 

In New Brunswick there are very large deposits of rich 
oil-shales awaiting development. Certain amounts of alber- 
tite were used in making gas and oil in the prosperous 
days of the mine at Hillsborough. The Maritime Oilfields, 
Limited, has recently bored a large number of holes to a 
depth of over two thousand feet at Stoney Creek, Albert 
County, New Brunswick. Several oil-wells with a com 
paratively small capacity have been found, and enormous 
quantities of natural gas at pressures ranging from 175 to 


550 pounds per square inch have been encountered. In 
1911 the company piped the gas to the nearest industrial 
centre, Moncton, where it is used for power, light and 
heating purposes, and also for charging the gas-tanks on the 
cars of the Intercolonial Railway. 

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty 
at the Edinburgh University Press 


Shortt, Adaqj 

Canada and its provinces 

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